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Full text of "The Act of incorporation (23d Vic., cap. 13) and the by-laws, adopted 11th January, 1864"

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• . , Entered, according to the Act of the Provincial Parliament, in 
the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by Charles 
Leggb, in the office of the Registrar of the Province of 

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Having been requested by an artist who has given to the 
world a series of magnificent views of the wonderful struc- 
ture, to prepare an article on the Victoria Bridge, and the 
men who built it, the writer has endeavoured to comply 
with those wishes to the extent of his ability, but at the 
same time conscious of his inability to do the subject jus- 
tice, from the great difficulty in furnishing a written de- 
scription of intricate machinery and mechanical operations, 
without the aid of diagrams and professional phraseology, 
— or, in other words, to draw pictures of the work for the 
mind's eye to dwell upon, in language readily understood 
by the general reader. 

This difficulty will be appreciated by his professional 
brethren, and must serve as an excuse for the general 
views given of the mode in which the works were carried 
on. The apology will readily be accepted when they are 
informed of an elaborate work on the subject shortly to be 
issued from a far abler pen ; and, with this pleasing pros- 
pect, it is hoped that they will regard the following pro- 
duction with a kinldy eye, as the first effort of a younger 

To the critical reader and the public, the writer can 
only say, that he appears before them with all the nervous 
trepidation of a very bashful young man, anxious to please 
if possible, but frightened at his own temerity in venturing 
into this prominent and noble field of view. 

A word or two may be necessary in explanation of the 
opening chapter of the work. It will be admitted by all, 

1 10422 


that, in drawing a sketoh of the men who built the Vic- 
toria Bridge, the foreground of the picture should be 
occupied by the illustrious Stephenson; but in at- 
tempting to consider the author of the tubular system, 
the mind instinctively reverts to the father, whose achieve- 
ments rendered necessary the great Britannia and Victoria 
Bridges, — structures which would be without existence, 
had it not been for the undaunted energy, genius, and de- 
termination of character possessed by the once poor and 
ignorant collier lad, — the two great developments being 
mutually dependent on, and necessary to each other. Fol- 
lowing this idea, a sketch of the country which required 
and obtained both, to their fullest extent, has been given. 
Numerous authorities have been consulted and made use 
of throughout the entire work. 

The late unhappy discussions as to the amount of credit 
due different Engineers for the projection and successful 
carrying out of this wonder of the age, led to a thorough 
examination into the various plans and reports brought 
forward by these gentlemen at different periods, and it is 
hoped that the impartial verdict of the reader will render 
justice to all. With the oil thus thrown upon the troubled 
waters, may they imitate that perfect self-abnegation which 
characterized the writings and public speeches of George 
and Robert Stephenson, when dwelling on their own works • 
resting confident, that as the Victoria Bridge was not 
accomplished by one man, to no one will all the praise be 
awarded by a discerning public, but each receive his meed 
of credit according to the degree entitled. 

If this result will to any extent be brought about by a 
perusal of the following pages, the writing of them will not 
have been in vain. 

Montreal, April, 1860. 



The nineteenth century of the Christian Era dawned 
upon the world with the star of Napoleon in the ascendant^ 
The devastations which marked the pathway of " the man 
of destiny," had spread over the fairest portions of the 
civilized world, with the exception of those inhabited by 
the Anglo-Saxon race ; and even there, the paralyzing in- 
fluences of war were felt. The arts, manufactures, and 
commerce had received blows from which they did not 
recover for years. The reaping-hook and the weaving- 
loom were exchanged for the sword and the bayonet. The 
" nation of shopkeepers " were, almost to a man, banded to- 
gether with the stern resolve to hurl back the invader, and 
stem the torrent of conquest, pillage, and blood, which so 
nearly brought the human race under the iron heel of this 
despot ; and when Providence at last smiled on the heroic 
efforts of those brave islanders, permitting them to bind the 
tyrant, Prometheus-like, to the rock in the ocean, they were 
enabled to start again in the race of human progress, and 
resolutely embarked in those schemes and enterprises which 
have resulted so largely in the welfare and happiness of 

But while emperors, kings, and generals were dividing 
the world, as it were, among them, and sacrificing myriads 
to their insatiable lust of dominion and power, doing deeds, 
for the perpetuation of their names and dynasties, which 
caused humanity to weep, little did they think that the 
9th day of June, 1781, had ushered into the world an 
infant, before the splendour of whose subsequent achieve- 


ments their brightest deeds would pale, and whose name 
would be embalmed in the hearts of millions, ages after 
their memories and crimes had faded from the historic 
page. Little did the people of Britain imagine, that the 
four bare walls and clay floor of a miserable hovel, in an 
obscure colliery village in the North of England, contained 
a child whose future was to be so closely allied with the 
empire's welfare and glory, and by the force of whose genius 
she was afterwards to be indebted for the foremost place 
in the march of civilization and wealth. Little did Mabel, 
the mother of George Stephenson, think, as she held her 
half-starved child to her bosom, and endeavoured to still 
his cries with the miserable pittance their scanty means 
afforded, that he would in turn give food and prosperity 
to nations, and stand foremost as one of the greatest human 
benefactors the world ever produced. 

We see him subsequently advancing through the period 
of childhood and boyhood up to the age of eighteen, at 
which time he was unable to read or write his own name. 
So severe had been the struggle for mere existence, that 
the situation of herd-boy to a poor widow was eagerly 
petitioned for, and the salary of two-pence per diem thought 
handsome remuneration. To be stationary in life was not 
in accordance with the boy's feelings, and he soon found 
promotion to the responsible position of guiding the plough- 
horse and officiating as general assistant on the neighbour- 
ing farms, in hoeing turnips, and in performing other 
light field work, for which he received the munificent sum 
of four-pence a day. Strongly impressed, however, that 
employment in this rural field of labour, honorable and 
useful as it undoubtedly was, did not offer the proper scope 
for his longing mind, we next find the ambitious boy at 
work with his father and brothers in the colliery, and ra- 
pidly rising from six-pence, eight-pence, a shilling, and at 


last, as fireman on his own account, to two shillings per 
day ; and hear him, on the receipt of the first week's pay 
of twelve shillings, giving utterance to the joyous exclama- 
tion, " I am now a made man for life I" This extaordi- 
nary piece of good luck, instead of causing him to rest on 
his laurels, apparently exercised the contrary effect, proving 
but a stimulant to increased exertions, and resulted in the 
expenditure of three-pence a week as tuition-fees, to Robert 
Cowens, for the privilege of being initiated into the mys- 
teries of the English alphabet and the construction of 
" pot-hooks.' ' To the reflective mind, what an interesting 
sight is this, of a strong healthy lad, destined in a few 
years to revolutionise the commerce of the world, striving, 
by the dim light of a coal fire, after the severe labours of 
the day, when his companions were either seeking repose 
or engaging in such amusements as their condition in life 
afforded, to see him, under almost insuperable difficulties, 
labouring so earnestly in the acquisition of the most rudi- 
mentary learning, that he might be able to become more 
thoroughly acquainted with the construction and working 
of the steam-engine, and proud, at the age of nineteen, to 
write his own name. 

The thirst for knowledge in a ease like this, was not 
easily assuaged, and we are not therefore surprised to learn, 
that, during the next winter, the services of Andrew Ro- 
bertson, a " Scotch dominie," and probably more advanced 
in the walks of learning than his predecessor, Cowens, were 
put in requisition, and under his supervision young Ste- 
phenson mastered the intricacies of common arithmetic. 

This small stock of learning was increased by practice, 
and as fast as opportunity would permit. Having quali- 
fied himself for the place of brakesman, he was employed 
in that capacity in a colliery till 1812, when he was thirty- 
one years of age, never receiving wages higher than about 


one pound per week. His earnings were increased, how- 
ever, by mending shoes for his fellow-workmen and by 
cleaning clocks. No mean motive prompted the extra effort 
to increase his income : he had formed an attachment for 
a respectable young woman, named Fanny Henderson, a 
person of excellent character, to whom he was united about 
the year 1802. It is related of the future great engineer, 
that, during the halcyon days of courtship, he had the pri- 
vilege of exhibiting his mechanical ability in re-soling fair 
Fanny's shoes, and, lover-like, carrying them about in his 
pocket on the Sunday afternoon, pulling them out occa- 
sionally and gazing exultingly on the capital job he had 
made. Out of his first cobbled earnings he saved a guinea, 
and told a friend " he was now a rich man." 

Well does America's most eloquent statesman* remark : 
" He said truly, he was rich in his joyous spirit and reso- 
lute will, rich in his industrious and temperate habits, 
and rich in his love for a virtuous young woman, worthy 
even of him." 

But this happiness was of brief duration : two short 
years saw those beautiful blue eyes closed in death, leaving 
to the sorrowing boy-widower, and the world, a precious 
legacy in the infant Robert Stephenson. The wife's great 
mission in life had been accomplished. It was not for 
her to tread its rugged paths in company with the noble- 
hearted husband, to cheer and aid him in his troubled 
moments and exult in his success. Hers was not the task 
of training up the youthful Robert to follow in his father's 
footsteps, and eventually to see him as illustrious. But 
could her pure spirit have looked down from its home on 
high, it would have witnessed that love still unchanged, 
and her vacant place for seventeen long years unoccupied. 

* Hon. Edward Everett. 


It would have seen her beloved boy the admiration of the 
world, and, on the completion of his last and greatest 
earthly work, entombed amongst England's mighty dead ; 
mourned over by all, from the Queen on the throne to the 
humblest artizan in the land. 

We have thus seen George Stephenson at the commence- 
ment of his career deprived of his loved companion, and, 
with a helpless infant and a blind father, left to pursue his 
journey alone. But " Onward " was his motto, and when 
in after years he emerged from the depths of the coal mines, 
to the upper world, it was with a mind matured and equal 
to the position he was then to assume. At this time he 
was in receipt of £100 a year, a sum sufficiently large to 
admit of Robert, now a lad eleven years of age, being sent 
to a good academy, where he reaped advantages to which 
George had been a stranger. On Saturday afternoons he 
visited his father, bringing scientific books from a circu- 
lating library to which he had subscribed, and for a num- 
ber of years became a joint student with him; the father 
not disdaining to learn from a boy, and the son happy in 
having the privilege of gleaning from a man. 

While thus employed in self instruction, he was also 
engaged in solving the important problem of railway loco- 
motion, and rapidly acquiring experience in that depart- 
ment, which soon made him the first engineer of the age. 
Struggling genius in this case, as in that of his predecessor 
Watt, found a friend in a British nobleman, Lord Ravens- 
worth, to whom all praise is due for furnishing means by 
which he was enabled, in the year 1814, to inaugurate the 
Railway system, by starting the " Blucher Engine" up a 
grade of 1 in 450, drawing a load of thirty tons at the rate 
of four miles an hour. This engine was soon followed by 
an improved edition, bearing the euphonious name of 
" Puffing Billy," and justly regarded as containing the 



germ of all that was subsequently effected. From this 
period up to the year 1825, we find him vigorously prose- 
cuting his improvements, in which he received valuable 
assistance from his son (who had returned from Edinburgh 
University) in all the elaborate calculations required. Rich 
indeed was the recompense he now received for all the 
care shewn and sacrifices made in the education of Robert, 
who, at this most important period of his father s life, 
wielded his powerful pen in bringing his vigorous and 
well-cultivated intellect to bear on the advocacy and deve- 
lopment of the great experiment now about to be made by 
his revered parent. 

What may well be termed the crowning and successful 
achievement of George Stephenson's life took place on the 
27th day of September, 1825. On that day the first pas- 
senger-train in the world was driven by him, over the 
Stockton and Darlington Railway. Other works of greater 
magnitude afterwards emanated from him, but none that 
can for all time be viewed with the same interest. 

And now commenced a movement in Britain and on the 
continents such as the world never before witnessed. Ri- 
vers were spanned, deserts crossed, impassable marshes 
bridged, valleys filled, and mountains levelled. The slum- 
bers of eighteen centuries were dispelled, and an energy 
infused into the commercial community which a few years 
before would have seemed Utopian. The spirit of the 
Stephensons apparently animated kings, princes, and na- 
tions ; and where before the footsteps of conquerors left 
desolation and misery, the shrill whistle of the locomotive 
brought back life and animation. From the country of 
the Pharaohs, the Ind, the land of the cocoa and the 
palm, from the wilds of America, or following the course 
of the sun and the drum-beat, westward till it re-echoed 
from the east, was heard that same piercing sound, carrying 


civilization and liberty in its train, and in eloquent lan- 
guage telling all nations and tribes the story of the collier 
lad's success. It would under other circumstances be a 
pleasing and instructive duty to dwell upon the early 
struggles and subsequent success of George Stephenson, 
but enough has been said to draw attention to how great 
were the first, and complete the last, to point him out as 
a bright beacon to young mechanics and others, now 
entering on the arena of active life, as well as to those who 
have experienced its hardships and crosses, teaching them 
that no matter how severe may be the discouragements 
under which they labour, they were far surpassed by those 
which attended up to middle age the father of railways ; 
and, though they may not reach the goal he did, yet, with 
the same indomitable perseverance united with honesty of 
purpose and thirst for knowledge, the difficulties will vanish 
and honorable position be attained. The name of his illus- 
trious son, though not so immediately connected with the 
motive power of Railways, yet in other fields bears, if pos- 
sible, a still brighter lustre from the extraordinary difficul- 
ties he surmounted in developing the railway system of 
the world. The impetus given by the elder Stephenson, 
was augmented by the son. New principles of construc- 
tion were discovered, and adapted to the requirements of 
the age. Mountains were perforated and bridges of fabu- 
lous spans thrown across mighty rivers for the accommo- 
dation of traffic, without a parallel. No space of time 
such as the ancients occupied in their works, was allowed, 
but, with the principles of construction grasped intuitively, 
the mighty structures, Aladdin-like, sprang into existence. 
A relative comparison of the genius and works of those 
two illustrious men, is a difficult thing to arrive at, from 
the circumstance of their labours being to a certain extent 
of a joint character. Thus the father, after having fought 


the locomotive battle for nearly twenty years, single handed, 
against the combined scientific and commercial world, who 
were of opinion that this wild scheme originated in the 
diseased brain of a " Northumbrian maniac," when after 
having, by the force of his indomitable will and persistent 
earnestness not less than by powerful arguments, induced 
the Directors of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to 
offer a prize of £500 for the best Locomotive Engine, which 
by a certain day should be produced on the railway, and 
perform certain specified conditions in the most satisfactory 
manner, now saw himself in a position to carry out the 
daydream of his life, and, knowing that success must be 
now or never, determined to call to his assistance a fast 
friend and helper, to stand by and aid in developing his 
plans for the locomotive railway system, and, feeling that 
every dependence could be placed on the matured judg- 
ment and scientific ability of his son Robert, he conse- 
quently urged him to return from South America, which 
he did, and joined his father in England during the latter 
part of the year 1827. A gentleman yet living remembers 
the vivid interest of the evening discussions which then 
took place between father and son as to the best mode of 
increasing the powers and perfecting the mechanism of the 
locomotive. He wondered at their quick perception and 
rapid judgment on each other's suggestions, at the mecha- 
nical difficulties which they anticipated, and at once pro- 
vided for in the practical arrangements of the machine, 
and speaks of these evenings as affording most interesting 
displays of two actively ingenious and able minds, stimu- 
lating each other to feats of mechanical invention, by which 
it was ordained that the locomotive engine should become 
what it now is. The son also found abundant occupation 
with his pen, in answering the arguments of the learned 
and scientific : " That a speed of six miles an hour was a 


physical impossibility ; that there were strong probabilities 
of the engine blowing up at any moment ; that the cows 
in the neighbouring fields would cease giving milk from 
the severe shocks their nervous systems would sustain 
from the passage of these hideous monsters ; that the birds 
of the air, in flying over the line of railway, would suffer 
collapse and die ; then the breed of horses would be de- 
stroyed, country inn-keepers ruined, posting towns depopu- 
lated, the turnpike roads deserted, and consequently the 
institution of the English stage-coach, with its rosy coach- 
man and guard, known to every buxom landlady at road- 
side country inns, would be discarded, fox-covers and game 
preserves would be interfered with, agricultural commu- 
nications interrupted, and land thrown out of cultivation, 
with owners and farmers alike reduced to beggary ; the 
poor rates increased in consequence of the number of la- 
bourers out of employment ; and lastly, the danger of 
women miscarrying from the sudden shriek of the locomo- 
tive.' ' A peculiarity belonging to these arguments was 
they generally wound up with the consoling reflection that 
railways would prove only monuments of the folly of their 
crazy projectors, whom they must inevitably involve in 
ruin and disaster. Many wise doctors, amongst whom 
was Sir Anthony Carlisle, insisted that tunnels would ex- 
pose healthy people to colds, catarrhs, and consumption ; 
and, in the very laudable desire of guarding the public 
against such maladies, they painted in all their horrors the 
noise, darkness, and danger of this mode of travelling. 

The most serious and original feature was the destruc- 
tion of the atmospheric air, as pourtrayed by the celebrated 
Dr. Lardner. This gentleman went into elaborate calcu- 
lations to prove that the ventilation as provided by shafts 
would be altogether insufficient to prevent danger arising 
from the consumption of coke, producing as it did large 


quantities of carbonic acid gas, destructive to human life. 
He showed, for instance, that in a proposed box-tunnel on 
the Great Western Railway, the passage of a load of 100 
tons, would deposit about 3090 lbs. of deadly gases, thus 
giving a pleasing prospect of an easy death by suffocation to 
the passengers going over lines containing such structures. 
These and many other objections, which at the present 
day would furnish food for laughter, were at that time 
seriously brought forward in Parliament, and advocated 
on all other occasions, with the view of crushing the move- 
ment in the bud ; and the assistance rendered by Robert's 
pen at this most critical period, in dispelling those popu- 
lar and scientific errors, was often alluded to in glowing 
and grateful terms by the father; while, on the other 
hand, we hear the son, in the year 1856, when at the 
zenith of his fame, as president of the Institution of Civil 
Engineers, informing that august body, that whatever he 
had done, and however extensive his connection with the 
railway development had been, all he knew, and all he 
had been able to effect, was primarily due to the honoured 
parent whose memory he cherished and revered. It must 
have been a pleasing thought in after years, in recalling 
this discussion, to dwell upon the success of the system he 
had advocated so earnestly and so well. With what pride 
could he riot point to the fact that the close of the year 
1856 exhibited the enormous sum of £308,775,894 sterling 
embarked in the construction of 8635 miles of railway in 
Britain alone, the whole of which had been raised by 
private individuals, without the aid of a single penny from 
the public purse! With what exultation he might have 
mentioned that the almost inconceivable number of 
129,347,592 individuals had travelled over this net- work 
of roads, at the rate of 24 miles an hour to an average 
distance of 12 miles, at the rate of 1 J penny per mile, and 


that, during the year above mentioned, the proportion of 
accidents to passengers from causes beyond their own con- 
trol, was only 1 person killed to 16,168,449 conveyed. 
And going beyond his native country, he could show 
10,000 miles on the European continent, and 26,000 
miles in the United States, in active operation, together 
with 1500 miles in course of construction in Canada, all 
tending practically to annihilate distance in bringing the ends 
of the earth together and nations into close relationship, 
by enabling them to exchange more freely their respective 
commodities, abating national antipathies, and uniting 
more closely the families of mankind ! What a forcible 
answer would all this not have been to the arguments 
brought forward by his croaking adversaries as to the 
curse which would be entailed were the system carried 
out which was advocated by his father and himself! 

Deeming it therefore impossible to shew wherein one 
excelled the other, in so far as original conceptions or me- 
chanical resources were concerned, we will, after having 
thus far dwelt on the Locomotive, which in a great measure 
must be attributed to the father, turn our attention to the, 
in other respects, equally important problem solved by the 
son; namely, the discovering of the principle and conse- 
quent establishment of the Tubular system of Bridging, 
The connection of London and Liverpool by rail having 
been made, public attention was now directed to further 
improvement of the communication with Ireland, by ex- 
tending the land journey and diminishing the sea voyage, 
or, in other words, increasing the comparatively certain, 
and diminishing the uncertain portion of the journey. 
The two ports of Holyhead and Dynllaen, had each their 
advocates, but the preponderance of evidence as to suit- 
ableness terminating in favor of Holyhead, the line pre- 
viously surveyed by Mr. George Stephenson was adopted 


with a short deviation of five miles. The mechanical 
structures on this line were of the most gigantic character. 
Never before in the history of modern engineering, had 
difficulties so great been met with, or so ably surmounted. 
The project of throwing railway bridges over the Menai 
Straits and the Conway River, was sufficient at first to appal 
even the mind of Robert Stephenson ; but having once em- 
barked in the scheme, the resolute spirit inherited from his 
father deterred him from giving up the task as hopeless, but 
rather urged him to the accomplishment of this herculean 
labour. The idea of making use of the present Suspension 
Bridge erected by Telford had occurred to George Stephen- 
son in the year 1840, but as the present strength, together 
with any addition which might be made to it, was not 
thought adequate for the passage of railway trains with 
ponderous locomotives, the idea was abandoned by his son, 
and an independent bridge recommended about a mile to 
the south, at a site known by the name of the " Britannia 
Rock," in every respect an eligible point for crossing. 
The suspension principle for railway purposes, though 
since successfully carried out in America, was gone fully 
into in all its details ; but with the recent failure of a 
bridge on this plan at Stockton -upon-Tees, before his eyes, 
and while acknowledging the possibility of stiffening the 
structure to such a degree as to admit of railway traffic, 
yet from the circumstance of the greatest portion of the 
material used in construction being wood and therefore 
possessing a perishable nature, and liability to destruction 
by fire, caused the adoption of this plan for overcoming 
the difficulties to be abandoned. The Britannia Rock 
being in the centre of the channel, rendered it possible to 
obtain two spans of 350 feet each, and, as the clear head- 
way of 103 feet afforded by the existing suspension-bridge 
furnished a guage-height for this, Mr. Stephenson was 


consequently enabled to establish at once the governing 
data of the proposed structure, and proceeded to design 
two cast-iron arches, of the unprecedented spans above 
mentioned, with a versed sine of 50 feet, carrying the 
roadway at a height of 105 feet above the level of the 
high water at spring tides. The ordinary mechanical 
difficulties in the way of carrying out this plan under 
more favorable circumstances, were immeasurably increased 
in this instance, from the depth of water in the channels 
ranging from 50 to 60 feet, with a rush of tide at least seven 
miles an hour, which rendered the adoption of scaffolding 
impossible, even had the requirements of the Admiralty 
for keeping the navigation uninterrupted, not been a fatal 
condition. The resources of the Engineer were equal to 
even these emergencies, and the ingenious method proposed 
for overcoming the difficulties in the erection of those col- 
losal spans without the aid of scaffolding or supports from 
underneath, will remain almost as enduring a monument 
of talent, as the wonderful creation of his genius which 
now spans the enormous chasm. On its becoming known 
what description of bridge it was proposed to adopt, 
an agitation was immediately commenced, by those 
interested in the navigation of the straits, who argued 
that it would be seriously impaired, by the contraction of 
the channels from the piers and from the spandrils of the 
arches, and that at the present time the navigation required 
the utmost skill from the great tidal currents, rapid eddies, 
sunken rocks, and baffling winds, without, as they alleged, 
having those dangers augmented by additional obstacles. 
So strong a power have vested rights in England, that 
Robert Stephenson recognised in this opposition the death- 
knell of his magnificent scheme, and resolutely set himself 
about the apparently impracticable problem of devising some 
other plan by which all these conflicting interests might 


be reconciled. In the meantime a Government Commission 
had been appointed to report on the affair, and, after ma- 
ture deliberation and extensive examinations, gravely 
recommended that the two spans should be increased from 
350 to 450 feet each, and, what was of still greater conse- 
quence, instead of being circular or arched, as in the ori- 
ginal plan, they insisted on their being flat or straight 
throughout their entire length. And in the event of, as 
they supposed, these impossible conditions being complied 
with, ironically suggested that no opposition should be 
offered, or obstacles thrown in the way of the railway com- 
pany bridging the Menai Straits. We have often wondered 
what were the thoughts of the directors of this road on 
being made acquainted with this ultimatum, — gentlemen 
who had previously regarded the proposed arched spans of 
even 350 feet with the utmost suspicion, as being too great 
a departure from precedent and possibility ; or what were 
the feelings existing in the mind of the engineer to whose 
resources the company naturally looked for aid in this 
dark hour ; but still more have we marvelled at the aston- 
ishment which must have pervaded Parliament, when Robert 
Stephenson appeared before their select committee and an- 
nounced that he was prepared to comply with the stipulated 
conditions to the letter. This surprise could scarcely have 
been mingled with distrust or doubt, as they had before their 
eyes, and fresh in memory, the miraculous achievements of 
" the old Northumbrian maniac " of the same name and 
lineage as the gentleman who now stood before them, so 
calm in his simple manhood, and earnest in the belief of 
bis ability to perform what he proposed. It is an inte- 
resting study to trace the various stages from the first con- 
ception to the successful carrying out of a great principle ; 
to thus follow, step by step, the experiments and deductions 
in the establishment of the Tubular System from the time 


the idea flashed across the mind of the author, when 
reflecting on the numerous instances of extreme rigidity 
and strength in circular tubes belonging to the vegetable 
kingdom, the common wheat-straw and the river-reed in 
our own climate, and the gigantic stems of the bamboo in 
the tropics, towering sixty feet above the jungle. The 
idea thus suggested by nature of arrangement of material 
for strength, stiffness, and lightness combined, was eagerly 
seized hold of by the eminent engineer, enabling him 
boldly to inform the world that he was prepared to throw 
a straight tubular beam over the Menai Straits. 

Being warned of the length this article has already reached 
before coming to the subject in view, we are unable to follow 
Mr. Stephenson through his interesting experiments, which 
resulted in the Britannia and Victoria Bridges, — two of 
the most stupendous and useful monuments ever produced 
by man, and destined to remain as such, it is hoped, till 
time shall be no more. We have written at some length 
on the Father of Railways, and on his son, the designer of 
the Tubular System, which now spans the Menai Straits 
and the mighty St. Lawrence. It has been done with the 
belief that many who read this, will for the first time be 
made acquainted in a slight degree with the early history 
of those remarkable and noble-hearted men, and lead them 
to a more intimate knowledge, from other sources, of 
the talents and energies they devoted to the material wel- 
fare and happiness of the human race, in all countries and 
of every tongue, — to know and thereby honour individuals, 
who, by the force of circumstances they themselves created, 
were brought into close and intimate relationship with 
kings, princes, and dukes, yet, while yielding the respect 
due to their exalted rank, never forgot they sprung from 
and belonged to the people, proudly preferring the simple 
appellations of George and Robert Stephenson to all the 


titles and distinctions repeatedly pressed upon their accept- 
ance ; and as the ponderous locomotive, instinct with life, 
drawing its enormous train of living freight, dashes past, 
causing the very earth to tremble, to lead the mind of 
the spectator back to the humble inmates of the clay 
hovel, and the long weary years of struggle before George 
Stephenson was enabled to bring forth this creature of his 
brain, and, while following with the eye the resistless, 
rushing, thundering mass, as it approaches and enters the 
gigantic structure high above the angry waters, cause the 
thoughts to revert to the genius of him who planned it, 
and now resting from his labours in the venerable and 
time-honoured Abbey, surrounded by Britain's illustrious 
and mighty sons. 



It may be proper, before commencing with the Victoria 
Bridge, to give a glance at the previous history of the 
country, whose recent development has resulted in the 
erection of the eighth Wonder of the world, and in doing 
so to describe a few of the most prominent features. 
The time exists in the memory of many now living when 
the whole expanse of Western Canada was covered with a 
dense wilderness, with the exception of small settlements 
at different stations, between Lake St. Francis and Am- 
herstburg, containing a population of not more than 20,000 
souls at the time it was formed into a separate government 
in the year 1791. About the same period, the number of 
inhabitants in the eastern section!, or Lower Canada, did 
not exceed 130,000, principally scattered along the banks 
of the St. Lawrence from Montreal eastward. A rapid 
tide of immigration soon increased the numbers. From 
the overcrowded counties of Merrie England, came her 
brave and resolute sons, ready and willing to meet hard- 
ships and perils, that they might have a hearth and home- 
stead of their own ; Bonnie Scotland sent her stalwart, 
cannie, and industrious chiels, as pioneers in the march of 
settlement ; while from the Emerald Isle, came thousands 
of her fervid children, happy in escaping from the clay 
cabins and misery of their green island home, with the 
prospect in view of an improved condition in the land of 
their adoption. Allured by the cheapness and good quality 
of the soil, together with the fine climate, many poured in 
from the neighbouring republic, all willing to acknowledge 


Canada as their home, and, by their obedience to the laws 
and industrious and hardy habits, proving good subjects and 
settlers, none more gallant in assisting to roll back the tide 
of unprincipled invasion, by their late fellow countrymen, 
in the war of 1812. 

If Canada possess none of the historic interest, which 
attaches to older countries, she can with pride point to the 
undaunted and successful efforts of those brave pioneers, 
in conquering the difficulties of nature ; the privations 
endured, the dangers encountered, with miraculous escapes 
in the forest and on the wave, from the wild animals and 
still more savage Indian, will furnish themes for the pages 
of the historian and novelist as prolific as did the days of 
crusades and chivalry in Europe. The picture so graphi- 
cally drawn by one of Canada's historians, will place before 
the reader, the early settler in his most favourable condi- 
tion : — 

" The backwoodsman whose fortunes are cast in the 
remote inland settlements of the present day, far removed 
from churches, destitute of the ministers of the gospel, 
and medical men, without schools or roads or the many 
conveniences that make life desirable, can alone appreciate, 
or even understand, the numerous difficulties and 
hardships that beset the first settler among the ague- 
swamps of Canada. The clothes on his back, a rifle or 
old musket, and a well-tempered axe, were not unfre- 
quently the full extent of his wordly possessions. 
Thus lightly equipped, he took possession of his two 
hundred acres of closely-timbered forest land and com- 
menced operations. The welkin rings again with his 
vigorous strokes as huge tree after tree is assailed and 
tumbled to the earth, allowing the sun to shine in on 
his little clearing. The best of the logs are partially 
squared and serve to build a shanty ; the remainder are 


given to the flames. Now the rich mould, the accumu- 
lation of centuries of decayed vegetation is gathered into 
little hillocks into which potatoes are put ; Indian corn 
is planted in another direction, and perhaps a little wheat. 
If married, the lonely couple struggle on in their forest 
oasis, like the solitary travellers over the sands of the 
Sahara, or a boat adrift on the Atlantic. The nearest 
neighbour lives miles off, and, when sickness, comes they 
have to travel far through the forest to claim human 
sympathy. But fortunately our nature, with elastic 
temperament, adapts itself to circumstances. By and 
by the potatoes peep up and the corn-blades modestly 
show themselves around the charred maple stumps and 
girdled pines, and the prospect of sufficiency of food 
gives consolation. As winter approaches, a deer now 
and then adds to the comfort of the solitary people. 
Such were the mass of the first settlers in Western Ca- 
nada. Within the brief space of sixty-four years, six 
years less than the allotted life of man, how marvellous 
the change!" 

This description of the hardships incident to a settler's 
life, falls in innumerable cases far short of the reality. The 
axe being the most necessary tool in the hands of the immi- 
grant while it was quite familiar to the partially acclimatized 
American, was to the newly arrived Briton a totally differ- 
ent instrument, and the months that must elapse before 
he could become accustomed to its use, with the long 
season of illness which himself and family must pass 
through, brought on by the deadly malaria arising from 
the swamps and decaying vegetable matter by which he 
was surrounded, far away from human sympathy and as- 
sistance, shows the metal those brave men were made of, 
enabling them to triumph over all. 


The tide of immigration continued to flow ; those trials 
and difficulties became less from year to year, as the coun- 
try became opened up. Montreal was brought within 
four weeks' journey of Toronto and that harbinger of pro- 
gress, a newspaper, started. Slavery was declared in both 
provinces incompatible with the institutions growing up, and 
was at once and forever abolished ; the fetters which bound 
slaves then in the country were knocked off and the liber - 
ated Africans declared British subjects, and as such free 
men. The second steamboat in the New World, first 
ploughed the blue waters of the St. Lawrence about the 
year 1809, reducing the journey between Montreal and 
Quebec to 36 hours, and was quickly followed by additional 
ones in both provinces. A fierce and deadly struggle for 
British supremacy, against almost overwhelming odds, was 
brought to a successful termination, and the neighbouring 
power taught a lesson they have not yet forgotten. Com- 
merce increased, manufactures were established, schools 
opened and churches built, even in defiance of obstacles 
thrown in the way by a government at the distance of 
3000 miles, whose officials were profoundly ignorant 
of the resources and growing importance of the rising 
colony, as may be inferred from a single illustration. So 
late as the year 1812 the wood-work of the Psyche frigate, 
intended for naval operations on Lake Ontario, was sent 
out from England, to a country where it could be provided 
on the spot in one tenth of the time necessary to carry it 
from Montreal to Kingston, and at the twentieth part of 
the expense ; even wedges were included in the stock sent. 
And to exemplify more completely the information possessed 
at that time by the Admiralty, full supplies of water-casks 
were forwarded for the use of the ships of war on Lake 
Ontario, when it was only necessary to throw a bucket 
overboard to draw up water of the best quality. An 


amount of ignorance like this, when shewn by this depart- 
ment of government, that should have been better posted 
up, was bad enough even though the money squandered did 
not directly affect the people's interest, but when, from the 
numerous suicidal acts that emanated in the Colonial Office, 
the shoe commenced to pinch, petitions, addresses, re- 
monstrances, and at last armed rebellion, opened the eyes 
of the mother country to the injury and injustice her 
children in the West were suffering, and, after crushing the 
unconstitutional movement, at once proceeded to devise a 
system of responsible or self-government, and, with a gen- 
erous confidence in the attachment of her sons in Canada, 
and assurance in their ability to take care of themselves, 
slipped the leash, and left her full fledged offspring to go 
on its journey for weal or for woe. 

But a few years have elapsed since this boon was grant- 
ed, and already Canada can point to the enormous strides 
made in every direction, as a proof that for the Anglo 
Saxon race self-government is requisite. She can proudly 
make known the fact that as the commencement of the 
century saw her with a population of 150,000 inhabitants, 
she now claims the allegiance of 3,000,000, a case of rapid 
increase without a parallel, if the auriferous countries are 
excepted, and point to her broad expanse of unoccupied 
territory stretching far north and westward to the Pacific 
3cean, with her noble lakes and unrivalled rivers, to her 
rich soil and healthy climate, in all its different variations, 
together with inexhaustible mines of iron, copper, lead, and 
other minerals, as the future homes and means of support 
for "hundred millions more. 

She can at the present time show a chain of inland 
lakes and rivers, connected together for commercial pur- 
poses, by a series of the most magnificent canals in the 
world, enabling vessels of 800 tons to ascend from the 



Ocean to Lake Ontario, and vessels of 400 tons from 
thence to Lake Erie, with an increased commerce from 
about $3,000,000 in the year 1800, to $75,631,404 in 
1856. But a few years since, where the solemn silence of 
the forest was interrupted but by the wandering Indian 
or wild animal, and where the foot of a white man had 
rarely or never trod, she can now point out numerous 
cities, towns, and villages, with populations ranging from 
40,000 downwards; many of them second to none on the con- 
tinent for the enterprise and public spirit of their inhabitants, 
the architectural ornament and solidity of public and private 
buildings, for the extensive works of utility they have 
completed, and to their mammoth warehouses and harbours 
filled with the produce of a still further west ; and exult 
in those busy marts of commerce as evidence that she is 
on the high-way to prosperity. She can show extensive 
regions once the scene of the beaver's labours, and the home 
of the sickening fever, from which the forests have fled as 
if by magic, now converted into smiling fields of plenty 
and peace, and filling the land with the ceaseless hum of 
industry and happiness. She has produced a system of 
railways extending over the entire country, unequalled 
for solidity and permanency of construction on this conti- 
nent, amounting to about 2093 miles, nearly all of which 
have been put in operation within the last ten years, 
bringing the extreme portions of the province within a 
few hours of each other. The large number of 1,613,935 
persons have travelled by this means a total distance of 
91,027,299 miles, or an average for each passenger of 56J 
miles, at the rate of 26 miles an hour, with only one pas- 
senger killed for every 13,003,900 miles travelled during 
the year 1858, but which is regarded by the Government 
Railway Inspector as being unusually severe in so far as 
loss of human life is concerned. It will be remembered 


that during the summer season those floating palaces the 
steamboats attract nearly all the pleasure travel, which 
would otherwise swell the number by railway to an enor- 
mous extent. Distance and time are completely annihilated 
by the flashing of the electric fluid along the telegraphic 
wires and brings all sections of the country within a mo- 
ment's distance of every portion of the continent connected 
by the magic wire. That great engine of popular instruc- 
tion and freedom the press has increased beyond calcula- 
tion from the days of its infancy, when the solitary Govern- 
ment Gazette in 1795 sent forth its 100 copies per week, 
with the latest intelligence from New York and Quebec a 
month old, to the present time, when from the city 
mammoth daily to the village modest weekly, the country is 
deluged with reading matter on all conceivable subjects 
and with intelligence a few hours old from all parts of 
America. This enormous power is controlled and directed 
by men from the highest order of newspaper talent, down 
to those possessing only a mediocrity, but all working with 
the common view of instructing and improving their read- 
ers. With still greater pride can Canada point out the 
high position she has attained in the education of her 
children both spiritually and intellectually; to the com- 
plete religious toleration which prevails, allowing every 
man to worship his Maker according to the dictates of his 
conscience, none daring to make him afraid ; to the 
countless spires rising towards heaven from one end of the 
land to the other, all uniting on the calm Sabbath morning 
in a melodious but solemn summons for the people to attend 
the house of God. With just exultation she may also call 
attention to the universities, academies, common schools, 
and mechanics' institutes, which stud the whole face of 
the country, and attended during the year 1858 by 
463,288 pupils, at an expense of $2,493,811, furnishing a 


system of education embracing classics, belles-lettres, law, 
medicine, mathematics, and the whole range of sciences, 
down to rudimentary instruction in the English language. 
These institutions are open to all, from the highest to the 
lowest on the same terms, with no merit recognised but 
ability. She can point to the upright, learned and eloquent 
men who grace the ermine they wear, and as fountains 
of justice distributing it in streams, as clear and irresistible 
as the limpid waters of the mighty St. Lawrence in its 
majestic flow ; to her men of science, her Logans, Dawsons, 
Hunts, Smallwoods, Billingses, and a host of others with 
world-wide reputations, all actively engaged in bringing 
their knowledge to bear on her physical development ; 
to her Keefers, Pages, Shanleys, and others, as engineers 
who have made themselves eminent and their country ce- 
lebrated for the colossal public works they have planned 
and executed ; to the free and elective government with 
its constitutional opposition, to guarantee that the rights 
of the people shall not be invaded nor the public funds 
mis-appropriated, and, when in the course of time changing 
places, to see the late ministers converted into watchful 
sentinels on their successful adversaries taking the helm 
of state, — all equally zealous in the maintenance of their 
country's credit, honour, and prosperity; and above all, 
to the feeling of loyalty and devoted attachment to the 
land of their forefathers, burning as brightly as the patri- 
otic flame on their own country's altar, — to the thrill of joy 
and pride which pervaded all classes on the glorious termi- 
nation of England's conflicts — to the gratification felt on 
being allowed to contribute a regiment to her army, with 
a contribution to the widows and orphans of her brave de- 
fenders, and able, in the event of an emergency, to send 
into the field a hundred thousand of her sons with the 
deadly minie-rifle to sustain the prestige of " the flag that's 


braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze," with 
arms as strong and spirits as brave, as those of their com- 
mon ancestors who conquered on the fields of Agincourt 
and Waterloo. 



The year 1859 closed with the addition of an eighth 
wonder to the world's museum, in the completion of the 
Victoria Bridge, and adding another trophy to the power 
of mind over matter. The important connecting link of the 
Canadian railway system was completed, and the Far West 
put in immediate connection with the Eastern seaboard. 
The hopes of its projectors were realized and the doubts 
and fears of its friends dispelled. The difficulties of nature 
in their most formidable type were surmounted, in a shorter 
space of time than anticipated by the most sanguine. 

The mighty river was girdled and brought under man's 
control, and fruitless are the efforts of her deities to escape 
from the thraldom of his iron bands. Her mad waves 
and rushing currents may break against his bulwark in 
vain, with her heretofore irresistible winter forces laughed 
to scorn by this creation of the genius of her victors, whose 
mission it is to go forth and conquer. Who were they, 
and by what means did they gain this triumph ? may be 
asked when the dim vista* of centuries intervene. What 
mechanical appliances were made use of, and did giants 
live in those days ? or, coming back to our own time to 
satisfy the reasonable curiosity of the beholder as he gazes 
upon this crowning achievement of intellect and sinew 
combined, is the object of the following pages. 

In the projection of her public works, Canada was fortu- 
nate above most new countries, in the possession of a class 
of men with enlarged and far-seeing minds, enabling them, 
instead of seeking a mere temporary accommodation for 


the local trade, which even a few years would prove insuffi- 
cient, to look forward to the future with its great increase and 
to the Far West or granary of the continent, as requiring 
an outlet for its enormous surplus, and, with this object in 
view, to advocate for their different projects, a scale com- 
mensurate with the work to be done. While at the time 
many persons of less sagacity^, offered strong opposition to 
the vast expenditure entailed on a young and poor country, 
maintaining that the present generation should not suffer 
in their pockets, for those coming after, but leave them to 
provide for their own requirements, we cannot suffi- 
ciently admire the spirit which impelled those projectors 
to adhere to tbeir convictions, as to the magnitude of the 
works required, and which the experience of a few years 
has demonstrated to be correct. It was under such circum- 
stances, and with those objects in view that the canals were 
built, and the inland waters lighted up, from Gaspe to Gode- 
rich, enabling her to enter into successful competition, as a 
public carrier of the products of the West, about the year 
1846. But as during the winter season she was obliged 
to withdraw from the contest, on account of her ice-bound 
waters, another system had to be adopted to prevent the 
trade when once introduced into Canadian channels, from 
being diverted to the American lines of railway, from which 
it would be difficult to regain it. The necessity of imme- 
diate action was generally felt throughout the Province, but 
in no place more than Montreal. She saw at once the neces- 
sity of prolonging the advantages gained during navigation 
to the winter season, by the construction of a trunk line of 
railway from the most eligible winter sea-port to the ex- 
treme West, and thus be in a position to compete with her 
rivals the year round, on her own terms. The St. Law- 
rence and Atlantic Railway leading from Montreal to 
Portland, was projected and its construction vigorously 


urged on by the mercantile community of this city, hut 
unfortunately, owing to a season of great commercial de- 
pression and political agitation throughout the Province 
at that time, the extension of the line westward from Mon- 
treal was allowed to remain in abeyance and all the means 
which could be raised were devoted to the completion of 
the first link already commenced. During this period of 
stagnation, however, a question was raised of the utmost 
importance to the whole system of future extension : we 
refer to the project of bridging the St. Lawrence at Mon- 
treal wdth a view to a continuous rail from one end of the 
line to the other. The conception of an idea so bold and 
original as this met with the reception which usually 
attends the first introduction of a project so novel and 
apparently impossible ; it was immediately set down by the 
public as the production of a man who had taken leave of 
his senses, and scouted accordingly ; ridicule and laughter 
attended the discussion of the subject in public and private, 
and the opposition which attended the introduction of the 
locomotive system by George Stephenson was re-enacted 
on a smaller scale in Canada with reference to the Hon. 
John Young's mad scheme. But fortunately for the inte- 
rest of the Province, that gentleman was in possession of 
a mind singularly characterized by his countrymen's pecu- 
liarities, and the pertinacity of the Scotsman, in the 
advocacy of this idea, which his acute, shrewd, and far- 
seeing mind held to be of the utmost importance to the 
country, enabled him to triumph over all opposition, and 
in time, by his powerful arguments, in the newspapers and 
on 'change, before the railway board, and public assemblies, 
to bring many to see the subject in the same light. He 
could now have the satisfaction of introducing the project 
to his brother directors of the St. Lawrence and Atlantic 
Railway without the fear of disturbing their risible faeul- 


ties or that decorum which should characterise so grave 
a body, and urge on their attention the strong necessity 
of taking the matter up at once and giving it a thorough 





The effect of this modified opinion, became evident by 
the instructions which were issued to Mr. Morton, the 
then chief engineer of the road, to make the necessary sur- 
veys, plans, and estimates of a suitable bridge for railway 
purposes. We are unable at this time to state what were 
the distinctive features of this gentleman's plans and 
report further than his proposed line crossed Nun's Island 
about a quarter of a mile above the foot and thence dia- 
gonally over the river to the south shore, making the entire 
length over both channels about 11,540 feet. Several 
other lines between the foot of Nun's Island and Montreal 
were also examined. The result, whatever it may have 
been, apparently did not satisfy the projector, judging 
from the communications which appeared in a newspa- 
per of that day, and generally attributed to him. So 
forcibly and clearly was the importance of the bridge 
made evident, that a committee was organized of which 
Mr. Young was chairman, for the purpose of procur- 
ing a second examination, to show the feasibility or other- 
wise of the undertaking. On this occasion an American 
engineer of great experience in this branch of the profes- 
sion, was requested to make a thorough reconnaissance of the 
river between Laprairie and St. Helen's Island, including 
the site which had been proposed by Mr. Morton. Mr. 
Gay, on his arrival in Canada, proceeded to make himself 
familiar with the general character of the river during the 
formation of ice in the early part of the winter and breaking 
up in spring, from which he was led to believe, in connec- 


tion with his previous acquaintance with the operation of 
large bodies of moving ice on other rivers, that any 
attempt to construct a permanent bridge across the river 
St. Lawrence between Nun's Island and the lower end of 
St. Helen's Island, would be attended with great risk, if 
not a total failure. This opinion having been formed, 
his attention was then devoted to the section above, and, 
after a thorough examination resulted in the selection of 
two different lines, either of which would answer the con- 
ditions of the problem in so far as danger arising from 
ice was to be apprehended. These lines for convenience 
of reference, are distinguished by the terms " upper " and 
" lower," and may be described as follows : 

The upper one extended from a point on Nun's Island, 
about a quarter of a mile from its head, over to a point on 
the eastern shore two and a half miles below Laprairie, and 
embracing both channels was 14,960 feet in length. The 
lower one extended from a point about half a mile above 
the foot of the island to the opposite shore, and with both 
channels was about 12,540 feet long. In discussing the 
merits of the two lines, Mr. Gay evidently leaned to the 
upper or longer of the two, in so far as danger from ice 
was to be feared, on account of the additional water space 
it offered, and less liability of jamming, while on the other 
hand its greater length and consequent additional expense 
of construction made the lower one preferable even with the 
somewhat increased risk of the ice accumulating. Under 
such consideration the lower line was recommended for 
adoption. The following brief description will give the 
reader an idea of the bridge proposed by Mr. Gay for this 
site. The superstructure was to consist of wood, arranged 
in that form of framing known by the name of " Burr's 
combined arch and truss," and supported on two abut- 
ments and 55 piers, at clear distances of 200 feet, with 


the under side of the chord and truss work raised twenty- 
five feet above low water, but the ends of the arches ap- 
proaching it within eighteen feet. The masonry of the 
abutments and piers was to be of the most substantial 
character. The surface of the external stones to be dressed 
in courses and the interior work laid with level beds, un- 
coursed and well bonded. The pier heads forming the 
ice-breaker, to be faced with timber one foot thick secured 
to the walls with iron straps and bolts in such manner that 
it could be renewed at pleasure. The masonry of the pier- 
heads was also to be secured in each course with iron clamps 
and the piers to be 18 feet in thickness at the "skew- 
backs," or springing-line of the archer. The faces of 
both abutments and piers to have an even batte* of one 
inch per foot rise from bottom to top ; no offsets, or pro- 
jections were contemplated for ornament, in order that a 
smooth and even surface might be presented for the action 
of the ice. The masonry of the piers where the water was 
more than two feet deep to rest upon a solid foundation of 
hewn timbers bolted together and sunk upon the solid 
rock-bottom of the river, from which all earth or loose 
stones were to be removed by dredging. 

In this plan it is evident that no provision was contem- 
plated for the navigation of the river, although Mr. Gay 
stated that a draw-bridge, not exceeding sixty feet in length, 
might be placed over the navigable channel, if insisted on, 
but as its erection would necessitate the two piers being 
within that distance apart, great dangers would be appre- 
hended from the obstruction of the ice, especially as 120 
feet of one span would have to be constructed three feet 
nearer the surface of the water, than would otherwise be 
required, to allow the draw being moved back within it, 
and therefore jeopardise the safety of the bridge ; and con- 
cluded with the hope that in obtaining the necessary autho- 


rity for its erection, no such conditions should be coupled 
with it, as tending to impair its safety or usefulness when 
done. In addition to railway traffic, it was also designed 
for ordinary bridge purposes for the common roads leading 
into Montreal from the south side of the river. The esti- 
mated cost of this bridge was $525,693, or if built on the 
upper line $613,321. In taking a general view of this 
scheme, we will confine ourselves to the consideration of 
a few of the most prominent features involved in its erec- 
tion. The superstructure being on the arch and truss 
principle, was capable of being made abundantly strong for 
the purpose intended, under other circumstances, having 
the truss portion to sustain its own weight, and the arches 
as auxiliaries for passing loads, but, as before stated, in this 
instance the most vital parts of the sustaining arches are 
brought within eighteen feet of low water and as it is known 
to have risen 22 \ feet above that point, at the time the 
ice was flowing in the fall and spring, and frequently above 
the limits prescribed by Mr. Gay for the springing of the 
arches, the ice under such circumstances would come in 
contact with and destroy the most essential part of the 
structure, and probably involve the whole in the same cala- 
mity. Mr. Gay proposed to build the piers without the 
aid of coffer dams, by dredging the bed of the river down 
to the smooth rock and starting the foundation on a solid 
timber platform ; but as he did not indicate the modus 
operandi, we are at a loss to conceive how it could be 
effected, from the fact that the deposit is made up in 
many instances of large masses of boulders, with interstices 
filled with gravel, sand, and mud, forming a hard con- 
crete mass, at other times the reverse, while, occasionally, 
the treacherous quicksand is met where least anticipated, 
forming altogether a stratum ranging from three to ten 
feet in depth, or how, by any process of dredging, this accu- 


miilated and varied mass could be removed from the 
rocky bed, so as to admit of the timber coming in imme- 
diate and close contact, as an essential to stability, for 
the sum of $200 a pier, is more than we can comprehend, 
to say nothing of the difficulty and expense of placing the 
masonry under water, in so strong a current, either by 
diving-bell or otherwise than coffer-damming. 

The site selected in no way favored the interest which 
it was intended to serve, either for railway purposes or 
ordinary travel, being at too great a distance from Mon- 
treal, on which the project at that time was dependent for 
the support necessary for prosecution, from the fact of it 
being regarded in other quarters as a purely local measure, 
and as such not entitled to public sympathy or support, 
but rather the reverse, from the interruption it offered to 
the navigation of a river for the improvement of which 
some 10,000,000 of dollars had been previously expended 
by the Province. Notwithstanding the disadvantages under 
which it labored, an application to Parliament for the ne- 
cessary powers for enabling the work to be proceeded with, 
was favourably entertained in the House of Assembly, 
through which a charter was carried in the year 1847, but 
was subsequently arrested in the Legislative Council, from 
whom it received its quietus. With so unfavourable a 
result to all the efforts which had been made by the pro- 
jector for carrying out this great idea, it would naturally be 
supposed he would allow the subject to drop, as an imprac- 
ticability, and take no further action in the matter. 

An eminent engineer selected by himself had pronounced 
a bridge below Nun's Island a physical impossibility, while 
he in turn knew full well that the one designed and loca- 
ted by that engineer was a moral one, and for four years 
brooded over the subject with the pertinacity of a Merritt 
or a Clinton, every day becoming more convinced of its com- 


mercial importance, and stronger in faith that it would yet 
be accomplished. We have before alluded to a season of 
depression in business matters which visited Canada about 
this time, involving the suspension of many improvements 
until better days would dawn, to which happy period we 
will now proceed. 



During the early part of the year 1851, the subject of 
extension westward from Montreal was again taken up, and 
a committee appointed to procure an examination of the 
country between that city and Kingston. The conduct of 
this important survey was intrusted to Mr. T. C. Keefer, 
a young Canadian engineer of great talent, but at that 
time more widely known for the clear, able, and eloquent 
manner in which, as a writer, he had advocated various public 
works of utility, than as being the possessor of that practi- 
cal ability afterwards displayed in the origination and con- 
struction of some of the finest hydraulic works on the con- 
tinent. In the general instructions issued to him by the 
chairman of the committee, Mr. Young, under date of 3rd 
June, 1851, we find that gentleman still as resolute on the 
bridge question as when we took leave of him in the year 
1847. In making Mr. Keefer acquainted with the com- 
mittee's desire for a third examination of the river, he 
suggested starting from a supposed terminus near the 
Wellington Bridge, and thence to the opposite bank of the 
St. Lawrence to the best point of intersection with the 
Portland Railway ; adding, that on the completion of the 
surveys, plans, &c, although having every confidence in 
his professional abilities, yet as the work was of more than 
ordinary magnitude and responsibility, the documents 
would be submitted to a board of engineers to be named 
by the committee jointly with himself. It is not our pur- 
pose to go into the subject of the general survey of the line 
between the before named cities, further than to say that 


political considerations alone led to the change afterwards 
made in its location ; we will therefore confine the present 
remarks to the subject of the bridge. 

A better selection could scarcely have been made for this 
work, than the professional gentleman in question, from his 
intimate acquaintance with the St. Lawrence in all its 
yearly changes, acquired in the prosecution of extensive hy- 
drographic surveys lately carried on for the Provincial Gov- 
ernment, together with the schooling obtained as engineer 
of the works on the Ottawa, a river second only to the one 
he was now to contend with. In fact, the wisdom displayed 
in the choice of Mr. Keefer for this onerous office, is abun- 
dantly demonstrated by the bold and original views he took 
of the subject, and the able and scientific embodiment of 
them in the plans and report laid before the directors. In 
order to obtain a correct knowledge of the bed of the river, 
position of shoals, &c, a thorough hydrograph survey was 
resolved on ; but as the great width, together with the 
strong currents, rendered it a difficult and expensive pro- 
ceeding during the summer months, Mr. Keefer was under 
the necessity, after a preliminary examination, of allowing 
it to remain over until winter, when the ice would give an 
opportunity of gaining the important information with the 
utmost degree of certainty. The result abundantly con- 
firmed his previous anticipations, with respect to the pecu- 
liar conformation of the bed of the St. Lawrence opposite 
Montreal, and its remarkable adaptation for a Bridge. 
The line subsequently selected, the result of this survey, 
as offering the greatest facilities for crossing, left Point St. 
Charles about a quarter of a mile below the present bridge, 
thence diagonally across the river in the direction of Mof- 
fat's Island, and striking the St. Lambert shore at the dis- 
tance of three quarters of a mile below the south approach 
of the Victoria Bridge, and in a direct line of connection 


With the Grand Trunk Railway at Longueuil. It is a re- 
markable fact, that on this line the shallowest water is found 
between Lake Ontario and the Ocean, and flowing over a 
bed composed of trap-rock, (through which a single channel 
has been cut near Moffat's Island) about 360 feet in width, 
allowing a depth of nine feet at low water, or about 300 
feet between the lines of ten feet at a like period, which 
guage no vessel descending the rapids would exceed, while 
over the remainder of the shoal followed by the bridge, 
nearly one half of the distance does not exceed five feet in 
depth, and consequently not admitting of vessels taking 
any other route than the one indicated by the narrow 
channel. This information being obtained, the Engineer 
was in a position to proceed with the general design of the 
bridge. The fate that attended the late project in the 
Legislative Council, warned him against attempting any 
similar one, that would interfere with the navigation of 
the river, more especially as it had been laid down by the 
Supreme Court of the UnitedStates, in the Wheeling bridge 
case, that no draw under 200 feet in length would be ac- 
cepted, and as this decision would no doubt be quoted by 
parties opposed to the scheme, and fond of applying to that 
country for precedents, together with the impossibility of 
complying with such a requirement, as well as the opinion 
he had formed from previous knowledge of the height the 
water had risen on various occasions, requiring the super- 
structure to be at least 45 feet above low water for safety, 
led him to the bold conclusion that nothing short of a,high 
level bridge, admitting vessels to pass underneath, would 
suffice. The site selected being above sea navigation, 
it was only necessary to provide for lake craft, but as 
many of the vessels used in those inland seas rivalled their 
brethren of the salt water, it became necessary to furnish 
a clear head-way of 100 feet from low water, with a span 


of four hundred feet over the channel before alluded to. 
Those two important points having been established, Mr. 
Keefer's attention was directed to the dimensions requisite 
for the additional spans, and gradients each way from the 
centre, as governing the heights of the remaining piers. 
In determining the sizes of bays or distances between the 
piers, it was evident, even in an economical point of view, 
they should be as few as possible, and as great in length 
as the style of superstructure would admit, as offering less 
obstruction to the ice when flowing in spring and fall. 
Another consideration was to be observed, which to a certain 
extent called for at least clear openings of 250 feet. We refer 
to the requirements of the timber navigation. The timber is 
put together in sections ranging from 200 feet to 240 feet 
in length, and shot down Lachine rapids, and frequently 
during the prevalence of winds becomes unmanageable to 
the men who are guiding it, and liable to take any of the 
openings broadside. The danger arising from this is ob- 
viated to a great extent by having all the spans the length 
above named. The fact of the channel for boats being 
confined to the centre opening, those two piers were raised 
to a height of 100 feet, and the superstructure so arranged 
as to admit of the train passing through, while for the 
succeeding openings on either side, it was dropped below 
rail level thus allowing the train to pass over the top, and 
thereby reducing the elevation of the two neighbouring 
piers to 70 feet, whence the grade descended to the abut- 
ments at each end, leaving a height of about 45 feet from 
the lower side of the truss to low water, at these points. 
The bridge as thus arranged, contained twenty-two piers 
and two abutments, with solid approaches from either shore, 
extending out to a depth of five feet of water, and measur- 
ing 1350 feet on one side and 1710 feet on the other, 
making the entire length of the bridge about ten thousand 


feet. This is the first instance in the history of the bridge, 
of embankments being made use of, and regarded as an es- 
sential feature in the design, for without them the gradient 
in descending from the centre, in order to bring the level 
of the rail within a useful limit for commercial purposes, 
on each side of the river, would, before reaching the shore, 
cause the superstructure to be brought within the range of 
the ice, and so cause its destruction. This might indeed 
be obviated by carrying the piers near the land up to rail 
level, but as this would necessitate running through the 
superstructure, instead of over, the general symmetry of the 
bridge would be destroyed, or, apart from economic consi- 
derations, if the piers throughout were brought up to rail 
level, and the superstructure arranged accordingly, then we 
have the passengers confined in a tunnel two miles long, 
with all its disagreable connections, or if the spans were so 
arranged as to admit of an iron bridge open at the top, 
the side trusses would be so high that it would become a 
long trough, which, unless open at the bottom, would fill 
with snow, and in summer effectually deprive the passen- 
gers of that view from the windows of the train constituting 
one of the great attractions of the bridge. On the other 
hand, by the arrangement proposed, the appearance of the 
bridge with passing trains is improved, the snow avoided, 
and the monotony of the outline broken by the single 
elevated tube in the centre, which would so clearly indicate 
the channel to those navigating the river, — the pleasure 
and comfort of the passengers enhanced, economy and 
safety to the structure secured, and if built of wood, the 
risk of fire greatly diminished. The above form some of 
the arguments brought forward by the Engineer for the 
solid approaches in so far as they are necessary for the 
bridge proper. We will now refer to another useful purpose 
they were intended to serve, in connection with the 


semi-annual flooding of Montreal, caused by the ice-jams 
opposite the city. In examining the local phenomena of 
the river at this place, Mr. Keefer went into the subject at 
length, from which the following theory was adduced. 
The destructive effects of the ice are incident to the eleva- 
tion of the river, and the sudden slipping of some of the 
ice dams formed during the season of the flow. This led 
him to the consideration of the localities and mode of 
formation of these obstacles, and whether any means could 
be devised for overcoming or guarding against their future 
occurrence. After starting with the fact that the ice first 
takes in Lake St. Peter, fifty miles below the city, at a 
point under the junction of the main branch of the Ottawa, 
and several other large rivers, he shows that the ice lodg- 
ing on the shoals at the entrance to the lake, causes an eleva- 
tion of the water between that place and Point- aux-Trembles, 
near the city, seldom higher than five feet above the ordi- 
nary summer level, while at the same time in the harbour 
of Montreal, but a short distance farther up, it ranges from 
15 to 25 feet above the same datum. The causes leading 
to this great difference could not be attributed to any 
action of the ice below, and must therefore arise from cir- 
cumstances governing its formation and movements above 
Montreal. In tracing this result to its origin, he arrived 
at the conclusion that the large area of water between 
Montreal and Lake St. Francis, remaining open after other 
portions of the river were closed, furnished the fields 
whence the supplies of ice were obtained for forming the 
dam at Montreal. Thus Lake St. Francis, from its com- 
paratively still and deep water, closes early and arrests the 
ice coming down the St. Lawrence from Prescott, causing 
the river to flush back to Cornwall. Now did the compa- 
ratively shallow Lake St. Louis, with its strong current, 
close before, or at the same time, with its neighbour above, 


it would in turn arrest the ice escaping from the lake, and 
prevent it descending the Lachine rapids to Montreal, 
together with the large amount of bordage-ice formed on 
its own bays and shores, frequently broken up by winds 
and waves before the lake is entirely closed up, and pro- 
bably lessen the inundation at Montreal fifty per cent. In 
fact this result is demonstrated during any winter which 
sets in with uninterrupted severity, closing the lake early, 
causing less time and opportunity for the ice to become 
detached from the shore, and followed by a diminished rise 
at Montreal. But if on the other hand the early part of 
the winter be mild or changeable, and accompanied by 
much wind, the bordage-ice may be broken off repeatedly, 
by the swell, and a large amount is furnished for the dam 
at St. Helen's island, thus explaining the apparent anomaly 
of greater inundations in " open " winters and less in se- 
vere ones. A second fruitful source of supply is the large 
basin existing at Laprairie, a few miles above Montreal, 
which remains open until its depth is increased about ten 
feet by the ice-dam below. Its extensive shoals and mar- 
gins are converted into fruitful nurseries of bordage ice, 
constantly augmented by fragments brought down from 
above, so that when liberated by the rising of the waters, 
or action of the winds, large fields of strong clear jice are 
sent down as extensive contributions to the fund below. 
From this Mr. Keefer draws the inference, that if the 
bordage-ice can be retained in situ and the taking over of 
the Laprairie bay expedited, a very large proportion of the 
supply furnished for the dams would be cut off and their 
extent correspondingly diminished, which duty he propo- 
sed to accomplish by the solid approaches from either side 
of the river thus converting them into a source of protec- 
tion, rather than as many would suppose of danger, from 
any anticipated rise of water which might follow their 


construction. We regret that this occasion does not admit 
of more than the foregoing imperfect synopsis of this inge- 
nious theory, and the clear and able arguments with which 
it is substantiated by the originator. ^ 

In the erection of the piers, Mr. Keefer proposed using 
coffer-dams to admit of the water being pumped out and 
the foundation properly started from the solid rock. It 
does not appear from his plan and report, that any provi- 
sion was made in the design of the piers to resist or throw 
back the descending ice. This he proposed doing by an ex- 
tension of the coffer dam on the upper side, elevating it to 
a height of about 30 feet above summer water level, and 
providing it with a sloped face in front for the ice to slide 
up on, and fall back on itself, thus preventing it coming in 
contact with the pier sheltered behind this bulwark. These 
cribs or rather islands, as they might be termed, were en- 
tirely detached from the masonry, and calculated to yield 
slightly by their elasticity to the shock, pressure, and 
grinding of the ice, and, from the description of material 
used in their construction, admitting easily of repairs when 
necessary. They were large enough to furnish service 
ground for material, machinery, plant, &c, used in the 
construction of the bridge, and forming still water in their 
lea for mooring scows, barges, &c. They likewise yielded 
protection for the springing of the arches, the lowest and 
most exposed part of the superstructure, if wood were 
used. To arrest partially the flow of ice from above, and 
so break its force before coming in contact with the ice- 
breakers of the piers, detached cribs were to be placed on 
various shoals above the line of the bridge. This method 
of protecting the bridge by detached-ice breakers, con- 
structed of crib-work, is probably the only weak point in 
this otherwise admirable design, but, as the subject will be 
more fully gone into further on, we will in the meantime 


only add that the first design, prepared by Messrs. Ste- 
phenson and Ross, was provided with ice-breakers very 
similar to those proposed by Mr. Keefer. In considering 
the important subject of superstructure, the Engineer's 
attention was directed in the first place to the suspension 
principle at that time about being applied to railway pur- 
poses at Niagara. In the investigations then entered into, 
he arrived at the conclusion, that where a channel is too 
wide to be spanned by beams, or arches, and when the 
depth of the water or narrow chasms makes piers or towers 
impracticable, the suspension bridge is the only and most 
economical resource. For railway purposes a single span may 
be made available, but for a long bridge, where a succession 
of spans are required, if constructed in the ordinary man- 
ner, the vibrations would be destructive to the work, and if 
built on any other principle, their economic advantages 
disappear. This, taken in connection with the vastly 
increased quantity of masonry required, rendered a bridge 
on this plan far more expensive than any other class of 
structure adapted for the same site, and at once precluded 
its adoption. In thus disposing of this character of road- 
way Mr. Keefer had the satisfaction afterward of having 
his views fully and strongly substantiated as will be seen 
when we come to the designs as prepared by Messrs. Ste- 
phenson and Ross. 

This conclusion having been arrived at, it became evi- 
dent that nothing short of a solid bridge, either in wood or 
iron, would answer the purpose, two classes of material 
widely differing in character, yet both extensively used 
for the accomplishment of the same end. At this period 
iron bridges had not been introduced into the railway 
system of America, where its rival wood, offered so much 
cheaper a substitute. The importance of substituting im- 
perishable for perishable and inflammable material in the 


erection of this great bridge, was strongly felt by Mr. 
Keefer, who had in view the tubular principle as discovered 
and developed by Mr. Stephenson, but as its adoption 
would entail an additional expenditure of $2,000,000 he 
knew it would prove a fatal condition to the then purely 
private commercial project, if demanded as an essential 
feature in the design. He insisted however on the centre 
span being four hundred feet in length and surmounted 
by a tubular iron beam at an additional expense of 
$172,000 than if it were of less width and built of wood. 
This he considered essential for the navigation, as well as 
to afford security against the chimneys of passing steam- 
boats, and cutting off communication in the event of fire 
occurring, thereby exposing only half of the structure to 

This being the extent to which under the circumstances 
he was justified in making use of the more expensive road- 
way, and, after expressing a hope that the superstructure, 
he was now to propose, would in course of time be replaced 
with the more durable iron tubes, in the event of the pro- 
ject being taken up at any future period as a public under- 
taking, he then proceeded with the general design for the 
remainder. The class of superstructure determined on, 
consisted of a strong rectangular open built hollow beam, 
Assisted by deep open built arches. The two systems of 
arch and truss, however objectionable in iron bridges, have 
proved to be susceptible of advantageous combination in 
numerous instances when built of wood, as the elasticity 
of timber permits both systems coming into play without 
injury to either, when a strain is upon them. Mr. Keefer 
refers to the experiments at Menai as establishing the su- 
periority of the rectangular form for hollow beams in iron, 
and remarks, as a singular fact, that the best form of 
wooden bridge for wide spans in America, was long pre- 



vious to the Menai tube, a type in wood, of that celebrated 
work, adding that the strength in both cases is collected 
near the four angles. The sides, top, and bottom in the 
iron wonder serving chiefly to maintain the relative posi- 
tion of the vital parts, while in the wooden tube the 
strength must be in the top and bottom chords, assisted 
and retained in place by the introduction of the auxiliary 
arch. He then speaks of the gradual improvements which 
have taken place in this species of wooden bridge, from the 
days it served for common traffic up to the time it was 
adapted for heavy locomotives, and argues that inertia has 
been sacrificed for mere stiffness, and therefore prejudi- 
cial to the structure when absorbing the momentum com- 
municated by the sudden impact of locomotives weighing 
thirty tons and moving with a speed of 30 miles an hour. 
To obviate this, he recommended a heavier class of super- 
structure than generally made use of, and designed the 
truss part with a view to support its own weight and in- 
troduced the arches as auxiliaries for the passing loads. 
The truss was thirty feet deep, and so arranged as to permit 
the road being carried over the top, and effectually pro- 
tected from danger of fire by having the sides, top, and 
bottom cased in, and under a constant surveillance for 
additional precaution. The life of the bridge thus con- 
structed, and protected from the action of the weather and 
contingency of fire, was estimated to be about half a cen- 
tury. No provision was made for ordinary traffic, as in 
winter during the few days it would be required before the 
taking of the ice, the carriage way inside of the truss would 
be impassable for want of snow, and in summer the ferry 
boats running to different points of the harbour, would 
successfully compete with the bridge for local trade ; the 
revenue consequently would not pay the cost of collection, 
though a footpath could fee projected from the side and 


become profitable, as it would be a favourite resort during 
the summer months to tourists and others. The estimated 
cost of the bridge, if built on the foregoing plan, with the 
large span of iron, was $1,600,000, or if iron tubes were 
used throughout $3,600,000. We have endeavoured 
to give* a short account of this bold proposal for crossing 
the St. Lawrence, at a point pronounced impracticable by 
Mr. Keefer's predecessors, but are aware of the utter impos- 
sibility in this imperfect sketch of doing the subject that 
justice to which it is entitled. The idea brought forward 
of carrying the railway traffic over the St. Lawrence, above 
the tallest masts of the lake craft, on a structure that 
would bid defiance to all the powers of the river, must have 
been as startling to the committee, as was the nearly similar 
project of Robert Stephenson to the British House of 
Parliament. It is true, the genius of that illustrious man 
was to be invoked in the erection of the tube over the 
channel, and, did the means admit, the remaining tubes 
likewise ; but at the same time, apart from this, every un- 
prejudiced mind must admit, as did Stephenson himself, 
that an enormous stride towards success had been taken 
by Keefer ; that he had in fact solved the problem, in re- 
ducing the question from a dead impossibility to a living 
certainty. The father of the bridge and his friends could 
now exult in this successful result as an earnest of what 
must speedily follow. The confidence, even in the darkest 
hours of its history, which led them to become personally 
responsible for the sum of $6,600 to enable Mr. Keefer to 
proceed with the survey, was about to receive its full frui- 
tion in the prospect of the bridge becoming a reality ; but 
apart from such minor considerations, so satisfactory a 
demonstration that the object for which they had con- 
tended for years, was not a phantom of the imagination 
but soon to assume shape and being, must have furnished 
food for deep gratulation. 



We are now approaching a period when the railway 
system of Canada was fairly launched into existence, em- 
bracing in its ramifications the construction of a continuous 
line from Trois-Pistoles, about 150 miles below Quebec, to 
Port Sarnia on Lake Huron, and thence to Detroit. The 
apathy engendered by hard times had passed away with 
them, and railways became the politics of the country. 
From the Governor General and the premier down to the 
humblest political demagogue, " the civilizing influences " 
formed the topic of the day. The Province was seized 
with a railway mania, and granted charters to projected 
lines in every direction. Newspapers teemed with leading 
articles and pamphlets multiplied. Railway literature was in 
the ascendant and plank-roads at a discount. Macadam^ 
engineers, and canal men were voted slow and unable to 
keep up with the times, while railway professionals were 
the bright particular stars on whom the destiny of the 
country hinged. In the midst of all this excitement ap- 
peared the celebrated railway letter from Mr. Hincks, ad- 
dressed to Sir John Packingfem, closing abruptly the 
negotiation with the Imperial Government for the need- 
ful, and followed shortly after by an announcement of the 
birth of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, with a capital 
of $60,000,000, and subsequent agreement with the firm 
of Jackson, Peto, Brassey and Betts, to build the road. 
It is not our intention to glance at the difliculties which 
occurred relative to the settlement of this contract. The 
work is now accomplished, and the bad feelings which were 


engendered at the time have passed away and are buried 
in oblivion : their disenterment would serve no good 
purpose. We will therefore welcome the arrival in the 
Province of Mr. A. M. Ross, the chief engineer, and des- 
tined to be intimately connected with the ;Work which 
constitutes our country's boast and the wonder of the world. 
This gentleman had long been associated with the 
Stephensons, on some of their most important works, and 
was justly regarded as their right-hand man, and one of the 
most competent men' in England to be entrusted with the 
supreme conduct of this gigantic, colonial undertaking. He 
had rendered most valuable assistance in the construction 
of the Holyhead line and Conway Bridge, alluded to in a 
former part of this article, as well as having been connected 
in a very prominent manner with many other works, if not 
so extensive, yet as important, and was generally regarded 
by the profession as par excellence a bridge engineer. 

On his arrival in Canada, he put himself in commu ica- 
tion with the Government, and was referred to a prominent 
. member in the person of the Hon. John Young, at that 
time Chief Commissioner of Public Works. What a fortu- 
nate meeting was this for a bridge projector and bridge 
engineer ; we can^ fancy the topic of conversation to have 
been " the bridge," as both gentlemen left Quebec the same 
evening for Montreal, one of them no doubt fully charged 
with interest in, and curiosity to become acquainted with 
the place so graphically described by his companion, while 
the other would in turn burn with anxiety to learn the 
views of the celebrated engineer on his visiting the locality. 
The day following their arrival in Montreal, the two gen- 
tlemen, in company with a third, visited in a canoe the 
different sites proposed for the bridge, not forgetting the 
special project of crossing from St. Helen's island to the 
east of the Market Place, with a span of unheard of di- 


mcnsions, and thence by arches northward to Cote h, 
Barron. After several hours cruise on the water, in the 
primitive vessel, Mr. Ross argued at some length against 
the proposition of building a bridge of such character and 
cost, of wood, strongly advocating the introduction of iron, 
and, to use Mr. Young's words in afterwards writing of 
what then took place, " described the identical structure 
subsequently adopted." With all due deference to that 
gentleman's recollection of what transpired so far as pertains 
to the iron superstructure, we think his memory scarcely 
serves with regard to the masonry, from the circumstance 
of the first arrangement actually proposed by Messrs. 
Stephenson and Ross, differing materially in so far as the 
piers were concerned, from the one at present existing. 
To prove this a short quotation from Mr. Stephenson's 
report in 1855 will sumce : " In the first design for the 
Victoria Bridge, ice-breakers very similar to those pro- 
prosed by Mr. Keefer, were introduced. In European 
rivers, and I believe in those of America also, these ice- 
breakers are usually placed a little way in advance of, or 
rather above the piers of the Bridge, with a view of saving 
them from injury by the ice shelving up above the level of 
(frequently on to) the roadway.'' Thus we find the inci- 
pient design at that time bears a strong resemblance to the 
one proposed by Mr. Keefer, when divested of its wooden 
superstructure and replaced by iron tubes. We make 
this extract to shew that the piers then projected did not 
assume their present form until an after period. The re- 
sult of the voyage was on the whole most satisfactory both 
to Mr. Young, as giving assurance that the subject would 
receive the earnest consideration of the eminent engineer, 
and to Mr. Ross, as furnishing a splendid field for the 
exercise of his " peculiar talent" in the event of the struc- 
ture being proceeded with. Before going further with the 


subject, it is necessary to revert to circumstances connected 
with the history of the road, as furnishing a clue to what 
subsequently followed. Prior to the formation of the 
Grand Trunk Railway Company, a charter had been 
granted to a company consisting of Messrs. Young, Gait, 
Holton, and others, with the view of constructing a road 
to Kingston, to which reference has been made as the 
one surveyed by Mr. T. C. Keefer. The location of 
this line was some distance back in the country, and there- 
fore removed from the most influential and populous por- 
tions bordering on the St. Lawrence. So much was this 
felt, that a strong political pressure was brought to bear 
against the scheme, and resulted in the government direct- 
ing their chief engineer, Mr. Samuel Keefer, to have ad- 
ditional surveys made between Kingston and Montreal, on 
what may be termed the front or river line. This gentle- 
man's examination ended in the present admirable location. 
A difficulty now arose in bringing this section under the 
control of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, owing to 
the existence of the charter in the hands of the parties 
above named, who were prepared to comply with its re- 
quirements and anxious to proceed with the work in ac- 
cordance with its stipulations. Before this period Mr. 
Young, on his accession to the Government, had resigned 
his official connection with the Company, and was at the 
juncture applied to by his late confreres, for advice as to 
the course they should pursue in the emergency. That 
gentleman, still adhering to his purpose of years, recom- 
mended the surrender of the charter, in the event of the 
Grand Trunk making the construction of the Victoria 
Bridge a prominent feature in the agreement. This ad- 
vice was acted on, and thenceforth the history of the work 
became intimately connected with the Grand Trunk enter- 
prise. In the prosecution of this survey, Mr. Samuel 


Reefer's attention was directed to a re-examination of the 
river to ascertain whether any improvements could be 
made in a site for the bridge to that previously adopted 
by his brother Thomas. Accordingly in the month of Fe- 
bruary, 1852, a most extensive and minute survey was 
instituted, and an amount of information gathered, which 
admitted the exercise of the nicest judgment in the deci- 
sion to be arrived at. On the elaborate chart of the River 
St. Lawrence at Montreal, prepared from this hydrogra- 
phic survey, he proceeded to lay down the present line of 
the bridge, differing from the previous one in being at 
right angles with the axis of the river, and about half a 
mile higher up, or starting from Pointe St. Charles, J of a 
mile above, and resting on the opposite shore f of a mile 
from the point reached by the original line, and shortening 
the distance materially. On the return of Mr. Ross from 
England in the Spring of 1853, this deviation was sub- 
mitted for his approval, and met with his unqualified ap- 
probation. The site of the Bridge definitely determined, 
and a section of the river obtained, Mr. Ross proceeded, 
during the summer of 1853, to mature the general design 
of the^present structure, with which his name must ever 
be intimately associated. The clear headway over the 
navigable channel being established by the authorities at 
60 feet, as affording sufficient height for steamers, the 
only 'class of vessel capable of descending the Lachine 
Rapids, in the present state of the river at that point, 
enabled him to introduce the easy grade of 1 in 130 each 
way from the centre opening ; and having determined on 
38 feet as the limit which would afford ample security 
against any probable rise of water and action of ice, pro- 
duced the skeleton line of the superstructure each way 
from the centre on the grade mentioned to that level, and 
converted the remainder of the distance to the shores on 



each side into solid approaches forming 1200 feet in length 
at Pointe St. Charles, and 800 feet on the opposite side 
of the river. This arrangement brought the rail level to 
the natural surface of the ground, and in immediate con- 
nection with the extensive machine-shops and station- 
buildings, afterwards erected near the end of the north 
approach. In dividing this intermediate space into spans, 
it became an important question to determine the econo- 
mic relation, which should exist between the piers and 
superstructure, keeping in view also the governing con- 
sideration of navigation, and the ice-way requisite for pre- 
venting the obstruction of the river by dams. In making 
this nice calculation, Mr. Ross arrived at the conclusion, 
that the side spans should not exceed 242 feet opening, 
while the centre one, being over the main channel, and 
from other local causes, must be at least 330 feet. That 
this was a correct arrangement may be inferred from a 
subsequent estimate with the view of ascertaining whether 
the spans might not be increased in length, and the masonry 
made less. Thus, to diminish the number of piers, by 
one only, on each side of the centre span, would in the 
item of masonry save nine per cent, or about $200,000, 
while on the other hand, the spans would be increased 
exactly ten pent, adding 20 per cent, to the cost of super- 
structure, as the proportion due to the sectional area of the 
tubes by this increase, which would amount to about 
$320,000, or $120,000 in excess of the present arrange- 
ment. This result bears a striking resemblance to Mr. 
Reefer's proposed spans, but arrived at by an entirely diffe- 
rent process. The arrangement gives 24 spans of 242 
feet in the clear, and one of 330 feet. These important 
points having been established, Mr. Ross's attention was 
then directed to another feature in the design, of still 
greater consequence, viz. the determination of the most 



suitable form of pier for resisting successfully the force of 
the ice. In considering this part of the subject, he was 
fully alive to its great importance, as constituting the 
vital condition in the stability aimed at, being well aware, 
from what he had seen personally, as well as learned 
from others, of the enormous forces to be encountered by 
the piers, and abutments, (roughly estimated in Sir Wm. 
Logan's article on the subject, as exceeding one million 
tons of ice each minute). We have before referred to the 
circumstance of the original design, containing detached 
ice-breakers [laced in front of the piers, resembling in 
some respects those proposed by Mr. Keefer. On more 
mature consideration, this arrangement was abandoned 
by Mr. Ross, and the masonry of the pier extended on 
the up-stream side with a slope of 1 to 1 presenting an 
angular face to the ice. This was done partly with the 
view of gaining the assistance of the whole weight of the 
pier, to resist the pressure of the ice, and at the same 
time present the least amount of surface for it to impinge 
upon, obviating a considerable annual outlay for repairs. 
In treating on this part of the subject, we think it neces- 
sary, in order to a correct understanding of this most im- 
portant change made by Mr. Ross, to give an extract from 
his letter to Mr. Stephenson, as joint engineer, dated No- 
vember 30th, 1855. In arguing against Mr. Keefer 's ice- 
breakers he observes, " You will also perceive that those 
quarter-acre islands would occupy 25 per cent, of the 
water breadth of the river, one of the most prominent rea- 
sons for their abandonment when first considered. The 
space occupied by the piers as being executed, is only 
seven per cent. This is a most important feature in the 
relative merits of the two modes of construction. Our 
present dams are generally about 5 to 6 feet above sum- 
mer water level, and cover an area corresponding nearly 


with that described ; latterly we have constructed them 
similar to those, filling the external barrier with stones, 
and the inner with clay, necessary to render them water 
tight. The force of the current is necessarily increased, and 
the natural consequences, owing to the fragile nature of 
the deposits forming the bed of the river, is to undermine 
rapidly the part exposed to the action of the waters, thus 
rendering them more insecure every day, and requiring an 
immense amount of expensive labour for their protection. 
I mention these facts which our experience has brought 
to light, as an additional reason why we should not re- 
sort to such an objectionable mode of construction. As to 
their cost, assuming the existing dams to serve the pur- 
pose as far as they go, we should have to raise them to 
the height of 25 feet above their present level, and add 
as much to their length up stream, as the necessary slope 
at the end would require. These ponderous erections would 
measure about 350 feet in circumference, and from their 
foundations to the top. would measure 40 feet, 25 feet 
above the present dams. The wall thus formed of timber 
and stone, would be about 20 feet in thickness ; the cubic 
contents of this mass above the level of the present dams, 
would be 200,000 feet, and the masonry saved thereby 
would be exactly 20,000 feet, which is all that is required 
to form the stone cutwater or ice-breaker attached to 
the pier. I believe no man capable of instituting a com- 
parison, and with these facts before him, will for one mo- 
ment hesitate in giving the preference to the ice-breakers 
as now being executed ; their more permanent efficiency, 
founded in every instance upon the solid rock, placed 
beyond the reach of any influence exerted by the currents, 
and their incomparable pre-eminence in relation to the 
space they occupy, together with their immunity from 
accidents (not requiring repairs of any kind), a light in 


which the other mode can never be regarded, and, lastly 
though not least, their evident economy in the first cost, 
place them immeasurably in the scale of merit beyond the 
temporary mode suggested as the substitute, on grounds 
which I think I have made clear, are altogether untenable." 
The following, is a brief description of the form and con- 
struction of a pier, as matured by Mr. Ross. The re- 
quirement of the tube being 16 feet in line of the bridge 
by 21 feet transversely, the dimension of the piers, except- 
ing the two centre ones, were established at 33 feet in 
line of the river by 16 feet in width, at the under side of 
the superstructure. The up-stream side of the shaft de- 
scends with a batter of 3" in 10 feet,to a point in all cases 30 
feet above summer water, forming the top or saddle of the 
ice breaker. To form the ice-breaker, the masonry at this 
point is extended horizontally up stream, about 10 feet, to 
prevent ice coming in contact with the shaft, should it 
even reach that height, and from thence descends with a 
slope of 1 to 1 to a point 6 feet under summer water level 7 
or 36 feet from the bottom of the shaft, presenting an 
angular or wedge face to the current. At this point an off- 
set of one foot is made, and thence descending in a ver- 
tical line to the rock, still preserving the same angular 
shape. The down-stream end of the pier is brought down 
to within 28 J- feet of summer level, with a batter of 3" 
in 10 feet, where an offset takes place of 1 foot, thence 
descending to summer water level with a batter 4J" in 
10 feet, thence to a point 6 feet under summer level with 
a batter of 1 foot in 5 feet, where an offset of 1 foot takes 
place, thence vertically to the rock. The sides of the pier 
leave the top with a batter of 3" in 10 feet to summer 
level, thence to 6 feet under the summer level with a 
batter in 1' in 5', where the offset of 1 foot occurs, 
thence plumb to the rock. The dimensions of the pier are 


thus increased from 33' x 16' at the top to 92' x 22 J' at 
the foundation. The two planes containing the wedge 
portion of the ice-breaker are dressed smooth, while the 
remaining sides of the pier are left in their rough or quarry 
state, with the exception of the angles, which have a margin 
draft of 6 inches. The two centre piers are 33' x 24/ at 
tube level, and increase proportionally in dimensions as they 
approach the foundation. The courses of masonry com- 
prising the piers run from 3'.10" to 1'.6", the individual 
stones of which range from 6 to 17 tons. Those in the 
cut-water are fastened together by strong iron cramps 12" 
x 5" x \ thick, through which bolts X^' diameter and pro- 
vided with a slit on the base for the introduction of an iron 
wedge, are passed six inches into the course below when 
the bolt reaches the bottom of the hole prepared for it in 
the lower course, the wedge is forced up into the slip, thus 
dividing the iron and forcing it against the solid walls of 
its prison, from whence it is impossible ever to be with- 
drawn. The whole mass of the cut-water is thus converted 
into one huge block. We think any person who compares 
the two arrangements for guarding against danger from 
ice, will be convinced from the clear and powerful style in 
which Mr. Ross deals with the subject, that his views are 
correct, and that he has arranged the material comprising 
the pier, in the most perfect manner possible, for the ser- 
vice it is required to perform. An important feature in 
the character of the bridge is the formidable looking abut- 
ment at each end, and which give so massive an appear- 
ance to the whole structure. They are 290 feet long by 
92 feet in width at the rock foundation, and carried up to 
a height of 36 feet above summer water level, for the re- 
ception of the ends of the adjoining tubes, which have a 
bearing of eight feet on them. At this level the dimen- 
sions are reduced to about 242 feet x 34 feet, from the 


different slopes and batters. A parapet is then carried 
up on all sides to a height of 29'. 3", terminating in a 
heavy projecting cornice, with flat lintels 16 feet in width, 
over the land and tube entrance, at each end of the abut- 
ment, and, being in the Egyptian style of architecture, 
the effect produced is extremely grand and impressive, con- 
veying the idea to the spectator, of enormous solidity and 
strength. These abutments are not in reality what they 
appear to be, a solid mass of masonry, but hollow, each 
having eight openings or cells 48 feet in length and 24 ft. 
in width, separated by cross walls five feet thick, with the 
top arched and corbelled over four feet under rail level. 
The flank wall on the down-stream side, rising nearly per- 
pendicular, is seven feet in thickness, and tied to the cross 
walls, while that on the up-stream side slopes from its foun- 
dation upwards to an angle of about 46 degrees. Its thick- 
ness is 12 feet, and it rests against the cross walls before 
alluded to. It presents a smooth surface to facilitate the 
operations of the ice, on which account its form has been 
determined ; and to insure greater resistance to the pressure 
of the ice, the cells are partially filled with earth, stones, 
and gravel so that one solid mass is obtained. The great 
length given those abutments, is in view of the rapidity of 
the current and the floating ice sweeping around their outer 
ends, after striking the upper side of the embankments, 
and which nothing but the most massive masonry can 
resist. The section determined by Mr. Ross for the earth 
embankment leading from the abutment to the shore, is 
peculiarly well adapted for meeting the shove of ice. The 
upper side exposed to it is formed into a hollow shelving 
face ; the lower portion or foot of the slope has a straight 
incline of 3 to 1, extending to the bed of the river ; while 
the centre part is a circular curve of 60 feet radius, run- 
ning in a tangent to the top, with an inclination of 1 J to 1. 


The large floes of ice, in sliding up, cannot pass this 
curved section, but break and fall back. The down-stream 
side which is not exposed to the direct action of floating 
ice, has a slope of 1 J to 1. The faces of the slopes on each 
side, are protected by a riprap wall of broken stones, from 
3 to 6 feet deep, and surmounted by a cut-stone coping 
3 feet wide and one foot thick, running on each side, the 
entire length of the embankments, and terminating at 
the end in two massive Egyptian pilasters, built in rock- 
face ashlar. 

The embankments as completed are 28 feet in width 
at rail-level. 



The superstructure, as designed by Mr. Stephenson, 
consists of 25 tubes, or, rather, as one continuous tube ex- 
tends over two spans, of 12 double tubes, and the large 
central one over the channel. They are of the uniform 
width of 16 feet throughout, for the accommodation of a 
single line of railway, but differing in height as they ap- 
proach the centre, Thus, the depth of the tubes over the 
first two spans is 18'. 6", the next two 19 feet, and so 
on, every coupled pair gaining an additional six inches, to 
the centre one, which is established at 22 feet in depth, as 
the proper proportion obtaining for a beam 330 feet 
long. These side-spans being all the same length, the 
increase in height does not arise from any requirement of 
additional strength, but simply to prevent the appearance 
of too great a break being visible in the top line of the 
tubes, and, by graduating the difference in height between 
the ends and centre, to give greater facilities for the roof 
required in the protection of the tubes from moisture and 
consequent oxidation, and presenting at the same time a 
straight and continuous outline on top. 

These tubes, being detached, are not designed upon the 
principle of continuous beams, for practical reasons, in- 
cluding the circumstance of the steep gradient on each 
side of the central span, and the great disturbance which 
would be caused by the accumulated expansion and con- 
traction of such a continuous system of iron work, in a 
climate where the extremes of temperature are so widely 
apart. The arrangement introduced of coupling but two 



together, with an intermediate space of 8 inches between 
them and the neighbouring tubes, divides this movement 
and retains it within certain specified limits. 

A double tube, covering two openings, is securely bolted 
to the masonry of the pier in the centre, on which it has a 
solid bearing of 16 feet by 19 feet, and provided with a 
free bearing on each of the two contiguous piers of 7 \ feet, 
resting at each end on 14 expansion rollers 6" in diameter 
and 3 feet in length, seven on each side of the tube, re- 
tained in place by a wrought-iron frame, allowing the rol- 
lers to traverse on a plained cast-iron bed-plate 7 \ feet long 
Z\ feet wide and 3 inches thick, bolted to the masonry. A 
similar plate covers the rollers, and is secured to the bot- 
tom of the tube. The tube is thus free to expand or con- 
tract each way from the bearing-pier in the centre. 

Creosoted tamarack timber, covered with felt, is intro- 
duced between the iron and the stone, in every case, to give 
the junction of these hard materials a certain amount of 

The tube proper is composed entirely of wrought iron, 
in the form of boiler plate, ranging from T 4 g to }§ of an 
inch in thickness, with the joints and angles stiffened and 
strengthened by the addition of Tee and Angle irons. The 
secret of success in this mode of construction, lies in ar- 
ranging those different thicknesses where the strains or 
weights call for additional strength or otherwise. 

At the time Mr. Stephenson commenced his experiments 
with the models, prior to the building of the Britannia 
Bridge, he found the results obtained, differed so widely 
from those indicated by the formulae for determining them, 
that but little reliance could be placed on any deductions 
arrived at from their use. He consequently was under the 
necessity of prolonging the experiments to a much 
greater length than at first anticipated, but with a success 


which led to most important results in this branch of 

These discrepancies arose to a certain extent, from the 
ability of wrought iron to sustain a compressive strain, not 
having been estimated sufficiently high, as well as the 
diversities existing among scientific men, relative to the 
character and extent of the different strains existing in 
rectangular beams. 

It is not our purpose to enlarge upon this subject farther 
than to state, that in a hollow beam supported at each end, 
and sustaining a weight, the upper surface in the centre, is 
exposed to a strain of compression, diminishing to the ends, 
while for the lower surface at the same points, the condi- 
tions are reversed, becoming tensile, — the sides acting as 
struts or braces to prevent those two opposite strains ap- 
proaching each other. In a beam of this description, there- 
fore, the excess of strength, must, on the top and bottom, 
be in the centre, and diminish as the ends are approached ; 
while on the sides, the conditions are again reversed, the 
centre requiring the minimum of strength necessary for con- 
necting the top and bottom, with an increase as the ends 
or bearings are reached. 

Another consideration to be observed, in so far as the 
economic distribution of material is concerned, arises from 
the inability of wrought iron to sustain the same amount 
of compression as tension, reversing the characteristics of 
cast iron, and which has been established, from the experi- 
ments alluded to, as being in the proportion of 4 to 5, — or, 
in other words, a sectional inch of iron in the top of the 
tube, can practically sustain but four tons, while the same 
area in the bottom, may receive as high as five tons with- 
out injury. 

The following table will shew the general distribution of 
material in the different parts of the tube, as arranged by 



Mr. Stephenson, starting in all cases from the centre of 
the spans : — 



L'ngth of 

Sectional Area. 




Tee and 



Thickness of 













/ // 



io ^V 









2 11 •& 


































































. u 

1*6 I 





-" h 




Beginning at the centre, and strengthened by Tee bars 
inside and out, placed at distances of 3', 6", — 


The first space of 35 feet from the centre is formed of { inch plate. 
The second space of 45} feet " " " ^ « « 

The third " 35 " " " " -ft " « 

The remaining space " " " " ^ " " 

The sides of the tubes at the bearing ends, are likewise 
greatly stiffened by lateral bracing. 

Keelsons, 10 inches in depth, are placed transversely at 
distances of 7 feet and secured to the side Tee bars by 
gussets, for the support of the longitudinal timbers carry- 
ing the rail. 

The top of the tube is also supported by keelsons at 
the same distances apart, and the whole tube rendered 
rigid, by stiffening gussets and double covers over every 

The wrought iron in a single tube 258 feet in length, 
including its bearings over the piers, weighs about a ton to 
the running foot, or 258 tons in all. 

The central tube, in consequence of its increased length, 
is somewhat different in its arrangement ; the bottom and 
top being proportionally stronger, — the first with an addi- 
tional thickness of plates, and the last, with longitudinal 
keelsons 10" high, taking the place of the ordinary longi- 
tudinal Tee bars, as existing on the side tubes ; the side 
plates are 2J feet, instead of 3J feet wide, with a propor- 
tionally larger number of side Tee bars. The whole tube 
is disconnected from the others, being bolted to pier No. 
12, and resting on rollers on No. 13 pier. 

Windows are introduced into the sides of the tubes 
near the line of neutral axis, and serve to light up the in- 
side. Iron brackets are placed on the piers where not occu- 
pied by the tubes, and slope back to the top of the tubes, 
but are entirely disconnected from it. They serve to give a 
finished appearance, and likewise prevent the snow and 
rain blowing in through the openings left for expansion 
and contraction. 


It was originally intended to cover the top of the tubes 
with a curved corrugated iron roof, to protect them from the 
weather. This design was subsequently abandoned and the 
present sloping angular one substituted, composed of 
grooved and tongued boards, covered with the best quality 
of tin. This tin is not put on in the usual manner, but, by 
an ingenious arrangement, each sheet is allowed to expand 
and contract at pleasure, without the danger of destroying 
the fastenings which attach it to the timber underneath, as 
in the ordinary method made use of, and thus insures its 
continual efficiency. 

A foot-walk 26 inches in width extends along the top 
of the roof, the whole length of the tubes, for the conven- 
ience of the employees connected with the work ; a track is 
also provided for the painting-travellers. 

The foregoing description will convey a general idea of 
the structure as designed by Messrs. Stephenson and Ross, 
and, in assigning each gentleman the individual credit due 
for this magnificent result of their joint labours, we find it 
a difficult matter to discriminate correctly. The iron work, 
in all its features and minutest detail, may be looked upon 
as the product of the genius of the first ; for it was he 
who originated, matured, and successfully applied the sys- 
tem at Bangor, and at the Menai Straits, and under whose 
immediate direction it has arrived at the state of perfection 
we now see in the Victoria Bridge. Valuable assistance 
was, no doubt, rendered by the second, in determining the 
proper spans for its reception, and for the successful man- 
ner in which it was carried out under his immediate super- 
intendence ; while, on the other hand, the origination and 
development of the equally important remaining section 
of the bridge, in all its admirable details of piers, abut- 
ments, approaches, &c, must be referred to Mr. Ross, al- 
though, no doubt, thoroughly examined and modified in 



some respects by Mr. Stephenson. The estimated cosl 
may be put down under the heads of 

First. — Approaches and abutments $1,000,000 

Second. — Masonry in piers between abutments.. $4,000,000 
Third. — Wrought-iron tubular superstructure.. $2,000,000 

Total $7,000,000 

This sum was afterwards reduced to $6,000,000, but 
subsequently, in consequence of a bonus of $300,000, 
given the contractors for completing it one year in 
advance of the time specified, the ultimate cost of the 
structure came to about $6,300,000. 


Messrs. Stephenson's and boss's controversy in 

defence of the design. 

A design of this extensive character could scarcely 
escape criticism, and we accordingly find, shortly after its 
maturity, many professional gentlemen, running tilts against 
its rocky towers and iron sides, with lances tipped with 
envy and malice, but in most cases profoundly ignorant of 
the objects against which they were directing their furious 
charges. For the information of the reader, we will notice 
a few of the most prominent of these attacks, before con- 
cluding the history of the design : — 

At the period of the introduction of the Tubular System 
and for some time after, there existed great diversity of 
opinion amongst engineers and savans, regarding the cor- 
rectness of the principle established by Mr. Stephenson, in 
the arrangement of the iron, especially in the sides of the 
tube ; some even going so far as to declare it to be a waste- 
ful expenditure of material for the attainment of a given 
strength ; in short, that in the scale of comparative merit? 
it stood at the very lowest point ; while on the other hand 
its advocates stoutly maintained the reverse, or that, except 
in particular cases, while it is not a more costly method of 
construction, it was the most efficacious one that had 
hithertofore been devised for large spans. Various arrange- 
ments of material for beams had been suggested, and 
brought into use in lieu of the tube as matured by Stephen- 
son, to two of which we will refer, premising that they were 
regarded generally by that gentleman's opponents, as the 
most successful rival combinations yet effected, and that by 



their adoption for the Victoria Bridge a saving of 70 per 
cent, in superstructure would be made. Other engineers 
argued there would be a vast reduction in the masonry 
proposed for the bridge, as well as in the item of super- 
structure, by the introduction of the suspension principle, 
admitting as it did of greatly increased spans, and thereby 
diminish the number of piers required in the proposed 
tubular arrangement. 

In the somewhat bftter discussion, which then took 
place, Mr. Stephenson's attention was directed principally 
to the defence of his favourite system, as opposed to the 
rival beams above alluded to, while Mr. Ross had the 
honor of taking up the gauntlet in behalf of the solid 
roadway, in opposition to the proposed series of suspension 
spans, recommended for the Victoria Bridge. 

Our attention will now be directed to the first gentle- 
man's arguments, but, from the necessity of condensation, 
their force will be greatly diminished. 

The three systems of beams under consideration maybe 
described as follows : — 

First. — The tubular girder, or what is sometimes called 
the box girder, when employed for small spans, with which 
may also be named the single ribbed girder ; the whole be- 
longing to the class known as boiler-plate girder. 

Second. — The trellis girder, which is simply a substitu- 
tion of iron bars, for the wood in the trellis bridges, which 
have been so successfully employed in the United States, 
where wood is cheap and iron dear. 

Third. — The single triangle girder, recently called 
" Warren" from a patent having been obtained for it by a 
gentleman of that name. 

In those three different systems of beams, there exists 
no difference of opinion amongst engineers, as to the rul- 
ing principle in the estimate of strength. Primarily and 


essentially the ultimate strength is considered to exist in 
the top and bottom — the former being exposed to a com- 
pressive force, and the latter to a force of tension from the 
action of a load — therefore if the different denominations 
of girders possess the same spans and depths, with a like 
load to sustain, the amount of effective material in the top 
and bottom must be equal in each class. 

The dispute then comes down to the most economical 
and advantageous manner of connecting the bottom to the 
top, all other conditions being common to each system. 

In the tubular system this connection is made by the 
use of continuous boiler plates, ri vetted together and stiff- 
ened by vertical Tee bars* 

In the second class, or trellis girder, it is accomplished 
by bars of iron forming struts and tiers, more or less nu- 
merous, intersecting each other and rivetted at the inter- 

The third class, or Warren's system, has the connection 
between the top and bottom effected with bars, not inter- 
secting, but forming a series of equilateral triangles, being 
struts and tiers alternately. 

The reader has now before him the three rival systems 
of beams, upon which this part of the discussion hinged. 

In taking up the consideration of the statement, that 
70 per cent, of material would be saved by the use of the 
third class in place of the first or tubular, Mr. Stephenson 
proceeded to shew that the dimensions of his proposed 
tubes for the Victoria Bridge were 242 feet in span, 16 
feet in width, with an average depth of 19 feet, dimensions 
and proportions which would obtain, in either of the other 
systems, if applied to this locality. The weight of a tube 
of this size was known to be about a ton to the running 
foot, or 242 tons in all. This material had been distribu- 
ed with a view to the ultimate practical strain of 4 tons 


compression in the top and 5 tons tension in the bottom, 
to each inch of sectional area, arising from a total weight 
of 514 tons, including the weight of the tube, sleepers, 
rails, and a rolling load of one ton to the lineal foot of 

The same amount of material being required in the top 
and bottom of the rival beam, to resist under the same 
conditions an equal amount of strain, the alleged difference 
of 70 per cent, in the total weight, must therefore exist and 
be sought for in the material making up the sides. To see 
how far this is in accordance with the actual state of the 
case, the following analysis is made of the arrangement 
proposed for distribution : 

Top of Tube 76 Tons. 

Bottom of do 82 " 158 

Sides , 84 

Total 242 Tons. 

From this it is evident that both sides bear a proportion 
to the total weight of only about 29 per cent. What then 
becomes of the assertion that the difference in material in 
the sides of the rival systems, is equal to seventy per cent, 
of the whole weight ? 

To make the contrast in point of efficiency and economy 
still more striking, Mr. Stephenson proceeded to institute 
comparisons between one of the Victoria tubes and an 
open beam on the Warren or triangular principle, lately 
built by Mr. Cubitt, on the Great Northern Railway, upon 
which all possible skill and science had been brought to 
bear, in order to reduce the total weight and cost to a 
minimum. This comparison is of great value from the 
similarity of spans and depth of beams, thus : 

Victoria Bridge span 242 feet, weight, including bear- 
ings, 275 tons for a length of 257 feet ; Newark Bridge 


span, 240 \ feet, weight, including bearings, 292 tons for a 
length of 254 feet : shewing a balance of 17 tons in fa- 
vour of the Victoria tube, and rendered still more striking 
from the fact of the Newark Dyke bridge being only 13 
feet wide, while the Victoria tube is 16 feet, having a 
wider-gauge railway passing through it. 

The deflection on the Newark bridge, when tested by a 
strain of 6f tons to the inch sectional area, was seven 
inches in the middle, or 4$ inches with a load reduced to 
one ton to the running foot^ - The Victoria tube yielded 
only \ of an inch, with an equal amount of rolling weight. 
Comment on these results is unnecessary. 

Greater difficulty was experienced in arriving at a rela- 
tive comparison with class No. 2, (held by some to be the 
most economical,) from the circumstance of there being no 
structure in existence possessing the same dimensions as 
the tubes. The nearest approach to these conditions ex- 
isted in the Boyne trellis bridge of three spans, with the 
centre one 264 feet in length, and 22 J feet in height. 
This bridge is built for a double line of way, with a width 
of 24 feet. Its total weight, including the beam itself, 
platform, rails, and a rolling load of two tons per foot, 
amounts to 980 tons, uniformly distributed. The super- 
structure is constructed upon the principle of continuous 
beams, a term which signifies that it is not allowed to take 
a natural deflection due to its span, but being tied over 
the piers to the other girders, the effective central span is 
shortened to 174 feet ; in fact, this principle changes the 
three spans into five spans. Now the effective area given for 
compression in this centre span is 113 \ inches, which gives 
a strain for the 174 feet span of nearly 6 tons to the inch 
in comparison. 

The reasons for not constructing the Victoria tubes on 
this continuous principle, have already been given, and 



would operate equally against the principle being applied 
to the trellis beam, were it introduced into the bridge in 
place of the tubular system. But since the discussion 
rests on the merits of the sides, let the Boyne bridge be 
supposed to have sufficient area on the top to resist four 
tons per inch, (the proper practical strain), and let the 
spans be not continuous, an imperative condition in its ap- 
plication to the Victoria bridge, it will be found by calcu- 
lation, that the area required at the top will be 364 inches 
instead of 113 J, and the weight of the span would be 
found by calculation to come but little short of 600 tons, 
(whereas it is now 386 tons on the continuous principle,) 
and if we suppose the Victoria tube to carry a double line 
of way, and 24 feet wide, with a depth of 22^ feet, even 
if we double the size and quantity, the whole amount of 
weight will be certainly very little more than 500 tons for 
the span, giving a difference in favour of the tubular sys- 
tem over the trellis beam of nearly 100 tons for each span, 
in its application to the Victoria Bridge. In addition to 
those satisfactory comparisons, Mr. Stephenson shews bene- 
ficial results arising from the continuity and solidity of 
the sides, in resisting horizontal and many other strains, 
independently of the top and bottom, by which the stiff- 
ness is very much increased. 

With such a preponderance of evidence in favour of 
the tubular system, it is a subject of astonishment that 
diversity of opinion could exist, or that a controversy 
would be carried on by gentlemen to whom one would sup- 
pose these facts were palpable, even before they were in- 
troduced into the discussion by Mr. Stephenson, but who 
from the clear, able, and popular style of treating the 
somewhat intricate subject, brought it within the scope of 
the most ordinary reader, while, at the same time, the gen- 
tlemanly consideration shewn in the treatment of the argu- 


merits brought forward by his professional brethren, and 
courtesy exhibited while in the act of demolishing their 
strongholds, will ever render his written articles on the sub- 
ject models of professional controversy. 

Having glanced at the triumphant manner in which 
Mr. Stephenson emerged from his branch of the conflict, 
we now turn to the combatant in another field, and trace, 
in the words of a despatch to his associate engineer, the 
successful result which attended his part of the discussion 
relative to the suspension principle. 

" I find, from various sources, that considerable pains 
have been taken to produce an impression in England in 
favour of a suspension bridge, in place of that we are en- 
gaged in constructing across the St. Lawrence at this 
place. This idea no doubt has arisen from the success of 
the Niagara suspension bridge lately finished by Mr. Roe- 
bling, and now in use by the Great Western Railway com- 
pany, as the connecting link between their lines on each 
side the Niagara river, about two miles below the great 
' Falls, ' the situation and particulars of which you will 
no doubt have some recollection. I visited the spot lately, 
and found Mr. Roebling there, who gave me every facility 
I could desire for my object. Of his last report on the 
completion of the work, he also gave me a copy, which you 
will receive with this. I have marked the points which 
contain the substance of his statements, I also enclose an 
engraved sketch of the structure. Mr. Roebling has suc- 
ceeded in accomplishing all he had undertaken, viz : 
safely to pass over railway trains at a speed not exceeding 
5 miles an hour. This speed, however, is not practised, the 
time occupied in passing over 800 feet is three minutes, 
which is equal to 3 miles an hour. The deflection is found 
to vary from 5 to 9 inches, depending on the extent of the 



load, and the largest load yet passed over is 326 tons of 
2000 lbs. each, which caused a depression of 10 inches." 

" A precaution has been taken to diminish the span 
from 800 to 700 feet, by building up underneath the plat- 
form at each end, about 40 feet in length, intervening be- 
tween the towers and the face of the precipice, upon which 
they stand, and struts have also been added extending 10 
feet further." 

" The points involved in the consideration of this sub- 
ject are, first, sufficiency j and second, cost. These are in 
this particular case soon disposed of. First, we have a 
structure which we dare not use at a higher speed than 3 
miles an hour ; in crossing the St. Lawrence at Montreal, 
we should thus occupy three-quarters of an hour, and, al- 
lowing reasonable time for the trains clearing and getting 
well out of each other's way, I consider that 20 trains in 
the 24 hours are the utmost we could accomplish. When 
our connection is complete across the St. Lawrence, there 
will be lines (now existing, having their termini on the 
south shore) which with our own line will require four or 
five times the accommodation. This is no exaggeration. 
Over the bridge in question, opened only a few weeks, and 
the roads yet incomplete on either side, there are between 
30 and 40 trains passing daily. The mixed application of 
timber and iron in connection with wire, renders it impos- 
sible to put up so large a work to answer the purpose re- 
quired at Montreal ; we must therefore construct it entirely 
of iron, omitting all perishable materials ; and we are thus 
brought to consider the question of cost. In doing which 
as regards the Victoria Bridge, I find that dividing it 
under three heads, it stands as follows : 



First. — The approaches and abutments, 
which together extend to 3000 feet in length, 
amount in the estimate to $1,000,000 

Second. — The masonry forming the piers 
which occupy the intervening space of 7000 
feet between the abutments, including all 
dams and appliances for their erection 4,000,000 

Third. — The wrought-iron tubular super- 
structure, 7000 feet in length, which amounts 

to 2,000,000 

(About $285 • 70 per lineal foot) making a 

total of $7,000,000 

" By substituting a suspension bridge, the case would 
stand thus: The approaches and abutments extending 
8000 feet in length, being common to both, more especially 
as they are now in an advanced state, may be stated as 
about $1,000,000. 

" The masonry of the Victoria Bridge piers ranges from 
40 to 72 feet in height, averaging 56 feet, and there are 
24 in number. The number required for a suspension 
bridge, admitting of spans of about 700 feet, would be 
10, and these would extend to an average height of 125 
feet. These 10 piers, with the proportions due to their 
height and stability, would contain as much (probably 
more) masonry as is contained in the 24 piers designed for 
the Victoria Bridge, and the only item of saving which 
would arise between these would be the lesser number of 
dams that would be required for the suspension piers, 
but this I beg to say is more than doubly balanced by 
the excess in masonry, and the additional cost entailed 
in the construction at so greatly increased a height." 

" Next as to the superstructure, which in the Victoria 
Bridge costs $285*70 per lineal foot. Mr. Roebling in 


his report states the cost of his bridge to have been 
$400,000. Estimating his towers and anchor masonry at 
$100,000, which I believe is more than their due, we 
have $300,000 left for the superstructure, which for a 
length of 800 feet is equal to $375, giving an increase of 
$89*30 per foot over the tubes, of which we have 7000 
feet in length." 

" By this data we show an excess of nearly 10 per cent, 
in the suspension as compared with the tubular principle, 
for the particular locality with which we have to deal ; be- 
sides having a structure perishable in itself, on account of 
the nature of the material, and to construct them entirely 
of iron would involve an increase in the cost which no cir- 
cumstances connected with our local or any other considera- 
tion at Montreal would justify. We attain our ends by a 
much more economical structure, and, what is of still 
greater consequence, a more permanent one ; and as Mr. 
Roebling says no suspension bridge is safe without the 
appliances of iron stays from below, no stays of the kind 
referred to could be used in the Victoria Bridge, both on 
account of the navigation and the ice, either of which 
coming in contact with them would instantly destroy them. 
No security would be left against the storms and hurri- 
canes so frequently occurring in this part of the world." 

" No one, however, capable of forming a judgment upon 
the subject, will doubt for one moment the propriety of 
adopting the suspended mode of structure for the parti- 
cular place and object it is designed to serve at Niagara. 
A gorge 800 feet in width and 240 feet in depth with a 
foaming cataract racing at a speed from 20 to 30 miles an 
hour underneath, points out at once that the design is most 
eligible, and^Mr. Roebling has succeeded in perfecting a 
work capable of passing over 10 or 12 trains an hour, if it 
should be required to do so. The end is obtained by 


means the most applicable to the circumstances ; these 
means however are only applicable where they can be used 
with economy as in this instance." 

With the views of Mr. Ross as above set forth, Mr. 
Stephenson entirely concurred, and, after reviewing and 
exemplifying them to a greater length, ended with an elo- 
quent eulogium upon the skill and science displayed by 
Mr. Roebling in overcoming the striking engineering diffi- 
culties by which he had been surrounded at Niagara, evi- 
dently proud and happy in having met, in mechanical 
science, with a noble spirit kindred to his own. 

A sketch of the early history of the Victoria Bridge has 
now been given, including descriptions of the designs sub- 
mitted by various engineers ; and as to some the necessity 
for this course may not be evident, but regarded as taking 
up too much space and time, with what, to the general 
reader, may be looked upon as a dry and unprofitable 
dissertation, we can only say, that as more than one 
claimant has appeared for the honor of first proposing 
the work, it has been the desire of the writer to give each 
his just due ; and should any injustice have been done in 
assigning to one that credit to which another is entitled, 
to place the subject fully in detail, in all its parts, before 
the world, so as to admit of a correct opinion being arrived at 
through the medium of a free press and contemporary dis- 
cussion, as it is to such sources the future historian of 
Canada must refer for material, when he alludes to the 
great work. In concluding our remarks on this branch of 
the subject, the following comparative synopsis of the diffe- 
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We have now arrived at the period when the designs ro 
elaborately matured on paper, were to receive material em- 
bodiment, — when, after the engineer had exhausted all 
his science, skill, and ability, in the office, in pointing out 
the method of encountering Nature's difficulties, and unable 
to proceed farther, he had now to retire, and allow others 
to come on the scene, for the purpose of carrying out his 
results in iron and stone ; to boldly meet, grapple with, and 
successfully subdue the heretofore unconquerable river, 
saying practically, Thus far shall thy forces extend, but no 

The railway development in England had originated 
men, who, to the shrewdness of contractors, united the 
scientific ability of engineers, and to whom that and many 
other countries, are indebted for the successful and ener- 
getic manner in which their private and public works were 
executed ; but towering high above all those was the cele- 
brated firm of Peto, Brassey, & Betts, with whom an 
agreement had been entered into for the construction of 
the Grand Trunk Railway, including of course the Vic- 
toria Bridge. 

These eminent gentlemen, with a world-wide reputation 
as contractors, have also established their names as house- 
hold words wherever railways have extended their civi- 
lizing influences ; for the sun cannot shine in any quarter 
of the globe without reflecting back its rays from monu- 
ments of their enterprise, energy, and skill. In the prose- 
cution of works, many of which may well be termed na- 



tional, they have trained up a staff of engineers, adapted to 
the peculiar services required of them, and, in their com- 
bined characters as practical mechanics and theoretical men 
have produced results which will render the nineteenth 
century the wonder of all time. 

Well did Robert Stephenson remark, when speaking of 
this system, that having such men as Peto, Brassey, and 
Betts, as contractors, with James Hodges for their engineer, 
nothing was left for his mind to dwell on but the poetical 
department of the profession. 

This gentleman had been in the employment of the firm 
for many years, and justly in possession of a larger degree 
of their confidence than any other member of the staff. 
He had, in behalf of the company, carried through some of 
the most extensive works in England. The great Northern 
railway, and the celebrated Lowestoft Harbour, owed their 
successful completion to his energetic character, while the 
chalk-cliffs of Dover, those natural bulwarks of the " sea, 
girt isle," had trembled to their very foundations under 
the powerful forces he brought to bear against their solid 
walls. With the reverberations of that huge blast still 
ringing in his ears, he had retired in the prime of manhood 
to the seclusion of private life, in the enjoyment of a well- 
earned competency, leaving the active pursuits of the pro- 
fession he had loved and honoured so well, to other and 
younger men. This retirement was to be of brief dura- 
tion. The Canadian contract had been taken by the firm he 
bad served with such ability and faithfulness. In the enor- 
mous staff of eminent men under their control at the time, 
there were none to whom they could with confidence entrust 
this gigantic and untried work, and but one individual in 
England who in their opinion was fitted to conduct it. 
That man we need scarcely say was James Hodges, a name 
now dear to many Canadians, and who, at the earnest 


request of his late employers, left the quiet shade of that 
honoured retreat in Surrey, to engage in a conflict with 
the most formidable material adversary ever encountered 

by man. 

In attempting to delineate the character of our late 
revered chief, we could dwell on the theme as one filled 
with the most pleasing reminiscences. The kind and cordial 
personal confidence he ever solicited in the intercourse 
with his staff; the pleasure and gratification always 
exhibited when bringing his vast and varied mechanical 
abilities into play in assisting them out of the numerous 
difficulties ever at hand; the high principles and rigid 
integrity by which he was actuated, and ever strove to 
inculcate by precept and example ; the simple manly and 
straight-forward style which characterised his daily walk 
and conversation ; his kind and feeling heart for the mul- 
titude under his control, in providing ministers of the Gos- 
pel, school-teachers, and medical men, for their spiritual, 
moral, and physical well being, stamped him as one of the 
most philanthropic men of the day ; while among the 
thousands by whom he was surrounded, there beat not a 
heart more tender and sympathising than his on the occur- 
rence of any of those fatal or serious accidents to life or 
limb, which always accompany the prosecution of so great 
a work, but in this instance reduced to a minimum by the 
effective and careful provision provided in every depart- 

An intercourse extending over a period of five years, gave 
the writer an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the 
numerous acts of kindness and charity, now no doubt for- 
gotten by the donor, but enshrined in the hearts of the 
recipients. Of the universal feelings of respect and at- 
tachment, as well as the unqualified admiration for his 
scientific and mechanical ability, which pervaded all 


classes in Canada, we will not personally dwell on, but 
exhibit him as described from other and widely distant 
points of view. 

A writer in one of the leading journals of the Province, 
in the course of a lucid and able article on the Victoria 
Bridge works, thus speaks of him : " These figures convey 
some idea of the forethought and practical combinations 
which are necessary to carry out a design profitably to a 
contractor, and there are two ways of doing this. There 
is the harsh overbearing inconsiderate selfishness, which 
extends no thoughts to others, and views " the hands " 
in the cold material view of wringing from their labour 
all the profit which could be gained, without a thought of 
their comfort and happiness; and there is the zenith of 
this low view of the matter, and it has to be said to Mr. 
Hodge's credit, that the latter is the principle by which 
he has been guided. He has not contented himself with 
only looking to the interest of the firm which he repre- 
sents, but he has carried on the work like a gentleman. 
There have been trying times during the last five years, 
as any one may readily conceive, and Mr. Hodges may 
not have spared others, indeed it was not possible to do so, 
but he never spared himself. Where there was difficulty and 
danger, there he was to be found, and no man has been 
asked to go where he would not have had to follow. Disap- 
pointments and accidents and temporary failures form 
chapters in the history of all such undertakings, when they 
are written, but generally the world never hears of them. 
They come and cost anxiety and pass away, and re-appear 
again to be triumphed over periodically, to be met with 
only to create renewed energy. " 

At a public dinner given to the late employees of the 
Victoria Bridge, after Mr. Hodges' departure from the 
country, one of the most distinguished engineers in Ame- 


rica spoke as follows : " It is my firm conviction, gentle- 
men, that the contractors never, in any of their great enter- 
prises, displayed more wisdom and sagacity, or greater 
ability to cope with great difficulties, than in selecting Mr. 
Hodges for the arduous work of placing theVictoria Bridge 
where it now stands, as firm as the rock it rests upon. It 
is not enough to say, gentlemen, that no better man could 
have been found for the place. I go farther and assert, 
that in any community, however large, of intelligent and 
able men, it would have been a difficult matter, a very diffi- 
cult matter indeed, to have picked out a man so eminently 
fitted in all the various qualifications it required, as Mr. 
Hodges has proved himself to be for conducting the great 
work to a successful completion ; and, gentlemen, it was 
not only in his dealings with the St. Lawrence that he 
proved himself a man of resource and a skilled and patient 
workman, but, better still, in his dealings between man and 
man he has proved himself to be that which the poet has 
termed i the noblest work of God, an honest man.' 

" It is but negative praise, gentlemen, to say that a 
man has no enemies ; of Mr. Hodges it is but simple truth 
to say that in every man with whom he had dealings during 
his sojourn amongst us here in Canada, he secured a friend." 

Another engineer, a late member of Mr. Hodges' staff, 
and a Canadian, during the course of his speech, in replying 
to the toast " Success to the Victoria Bridge," thus alluded 
to his late chief: " Some few years since, the idea of such 
a structure spanning our noble St. Lawrence, would have 
been laughed at, and to people acquainted with the force 
of the current, and the millions of tons of ice to be hurled 
against this barrier, the scheme seemed perfectly ridiculous ; 
but there were others who thought differently, men of unri- 
valled genius pointed out the way by which the obstacles 
could be surmounted, and soon found others willing and 


ready to furnish the " sinews of war," to aid them in the 
untried conflict with the mighty river, and that that con- 
fidence was not misplaced, this auspicious and happy 
meeting to celebrate its success abundantly testifies. You 
will remember this gigantic work was commenced in the 
year 1854, to be completed in 1861, in the short space of 
eight years, a time not to be measured by the usual span 
in this rigorous climate, but each season to be compressed 
as it were into a few short fleeting summer months. You 
will also please bear in mind that two of these years were 
nearly lost, owing to monetary difficulties during the Cri- 
mean war, when works in all other parts of the world were 
either paralyzed or stopped. I ask you, then, in the face 
of all this, with the bridge open for traffic in the year 1859, 
nearly 18 months before the time specified by the most 
sanguine, if its construction has not been a success, — an 
achievement, gentlemen, owing in great measure to the indo- 
mitable energy and ability of Mr. James Hodges, ably 
seconded by yourselves, individually and collectively ? You 
will perhaps allow me to pay more than a passing tribute 
to this gentleman, notwithstanding that he has been so 
highly eulogised on this and other similar occasions. We 
young Canadian engineers owe him a debt which nothing 
can cancel, one which will be transmitted to our children 
and children's children, for the ready and helping hand he 
extended in placing us in positions to be associated with 
this, our country's greatest work ; and now that the bands 
which united us to him for the last five years are severed, 
never again to be reunited, we would like if it were possible, 
this evening, for an expression of our gratitude to be wafted 
on the wings of the winds across the broad Atlantic, to 
his honoured retreat in Surrey, telling him that the high 
and honorable precepts he both taught and practised in 
our midst, will never be forgotten, but be forever cherished' 


in memory, enabling us as far as possible in our future 
career, to follow in his footsteps. Gentlemen, I have seen 
him in moments of disaster, and in hours of success, at 
times when he was forced to bow to powerful and ruth- 
less adversaries, and when gazing with the calmness of a 
Christian philosopher upon the destruction of the works of 
months, in a few minutes, prepare resolutely again to enter 
the arena of conflict, and eventually emerge victoriously. 
You have all lately seen him in the full flush of triumph, 
with the victor's garlands encircling his brow, the crash of 
triumphant music and the ringing cheers of a thousand 
spectators in his ears ; — at a moment like this, when con- 
scious superiority and pride would have been pardonable if 
ever, and yet, with a modesty unparalleled, have heard him 
disclaiming all credit, and in eloquent terms pointing to 
you as the men who did all, thereby shewing the truth 
of the maxim, that ' genius and ability are always allied 
with modesty.' " 

His Lordship the Bishop of Montreal, in the course of 
an eloquent address, on the occasion of the first passenger 
train passing through, thus alluded to him : " He, the 
Bishop, was there because he wished to pay the tribute of 
his personal respect to Mr. Hodges, to testify his high 
sense of that gentleman's integrity, and of the Christian 
principle with which he had provided for the education and 
spiritual supervision of all the people connected with the 
work. He looked on this gentleman's example, as one 
which all employers should follow. They had no right to 
congregate large bodies of people without making provi- 
sion for their spiritual wants. Mr. Hodges, with the ap- 
probation of his principals, had acted so as to secure this 
great blessing for the people employed by him, and, though 
this mighty work would meet with the fate described by 
the great poet, 



1 The cloud capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea all which it inherits, shall dissolve, 
And, like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
Leave not a wreck behind,' 

yet the integrity of character, high moral principles, 
and Christian philanthropy which had actuated Mr. Hodges 
would remain on record for all eternity." 

The following extract is also given from a speech deli- 
vered on the same occasion by the engineer who had been 
sent out from England on behalf of the Grand Trunk 
Railway Company, to examine the bridge : 

" He, the speaker, only repeated what he had heard from 
Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Ross, that much of the success of 
this undertaking had been owing to the skill, energy, and 
unfailing resources in difficulties of Mr. Hodges. The 
speaker had examined closely and critically every part of 
the work. No iron tubes were ever put together over 
which passengers might more safely pass ; no masonry was 
ever heaped stone on stone with greater art, or with more 
precaution to secure solidity and durability.' ' 

And lastly, Mr. Ross, in the delivery of a powerful ad- 
dress on the subject of the numerous difficulties encoun- 
tered during the construction, and in referring to the cor- 
dial co-operation received at all times from the parties con- 
cerned, spoke in the following manner of the contractor's 
agent : — " Having always present to my mind, that golden 
rule, which I trust will ever be found to characterise my 
proceedings, ' to do to others as you would be done by,' 
my task has been an easy one, my occupation in so far at 
least as pertained to the duties peculiar to my own calling a 
plaything. Yet it would be too much to expect that 
works of such magnitude, with varied subjects of conside- 


ration, together with the more than ordinary conflicting 
elements of a rigorous climate, could go on to the end 
without some drawback to a uniform progress. I however 
never yet found the talented agent invested with the re- 
sponsibility of carrying out this great trust on behalf of his 
employers, to be wanting. The resources of his mind were 
at all times equal to the exigency of the case, and, so far 
from feeling any degree of reproach inseparable (if any 
exist) from all concerned, the result has ever been one of 
unmingled gratulation." 

The foregoing extracts are a few of the many which 
might be given to show the high position he occupied in 
public opinion in Canada during the time of his sojourn, 
but, in connexion with those expressions of respect and admi- 
ration, we cannot refrain from noticing a fact not referred 
to by any of the speakers, and which no doubt was driven 
from their memories at the time by the magnitude of the 
work more immediately before their observation ; we refer 
to the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway, simul- 
taneously with the Victoria Bridge. 

The whole of this extensive enterprise as far west as 
Toronto, was within the general surperintendence of Mr. 
Hodges, with a section of it amounting to nearly 320 miles 
under his constant and personal surveillance. 

Many of the mechanical structures on the line were of 
a magnitude second only to the Victoria Bridge, and 
required the same watchful care and skilful resources on 
the part of the chief, as did the great work itself. 

In fact every branch of the work, from the erection of 
locomotives and rolling stock, down to the simple box cul- 
verts along the line, received from this ubiquitous man the 
most rigid examinations, at very short intervals of time, 
and not the least was the management of the monetary de- 
partment for the whole extent of the line. So successfully 



was it carried on, that from the commencement to the end 
of the work, every contractor, tradesman, mechanic, and 
labourer, had his money to the day it was due. This 
universality of business talent, so rarely combined in the 
same mind, with great mechanical resources, can only be 
appreciated by those who have to do extensively with each 
distinct department. 

We do not say he was without zealous and able assistants ; 
but this we do assert, that he was the main motive power, 
laying down the laws by which they were to be governed, 
and creating the discipline by which they were to be guided, 
with admirable skill and management. 



In making arrangements for carrying out the work, 
in devising coffer-dams, machinery, and all the thousand 
and one skilful appliances to be made use of in its pro- 
secution, no assistance was rendered by Messrs. Stephen- 
son and Ross, as both gentlemen considered it entirely 
within the province of the contractors, or rather their re- 
presentative, Mr. Hodges, to adopt such means as they 
might consider most economical to themselves, so long as 
the soundness and stability of the work were in no way 

With Mr. Hodges therefore rests the entire credit of 
the origination and successful applications of the nume- 
rous ingenious inventions and adaptations in the carrying 
out of this work. 

The most important consideration at the commence- 
ment of operations, was the method to be employed in 
placing the foundation of the piers and abutments in place, 
and at the same time to combine great strength, efficiency, 
and economy. In a river exposed to such extreme changes, 
strength of current and depth of water, with the peculiar 
deposit existing on its rocky bed to be removed, it was 
evident that the methods generally in use for foundations, 
such as the diving-bell, or by means of concrete confined 
in " caissons," would be utterly futile, and therefore not 
to be entertained. 

The idea that first suggested itself to Mr. Hodges, in con- 
nection with the building of the piers, was the construction 
of large floating coffer-dams, so arranged as to present 



the least resistance to the current, and furnished with an 
inner well or opening sufficiently large to admit of the pier 
being built, after the water and deposit were removed, and 
capable, on the completion of the masonry, of serving a 
similar purpose with additional ones. 

Three structures of this description were built, and un- 
doubtedly were the most economical, speedy, and effective 
system of coffer darning made use of. By means of the 
first two built, No. 1 and 2 piers were erected ; and had it 
been possible to remove them to winter quarters a few days 
sooner, many other piers would have owed their existence 
to them. The third one, however, built three piers most 
successfully, and was only taken to pieces on the completion 
of the Bridge. The circumstances which operated most 
against the entire use of floating dams arose from their 
being able to build but one pier each, in the season, 
besides not being adapted to meet the force of the ice, and | 
consequently, did any unforesen difficulty with the founda- 
tion arise, by which the masonry could not be commenced 
or completed the same year, as in the case of Nos. 3, 4, 5, 
6, 8, 9, 14, and 15 piers, the entire structure would be 
destroyed by the ice. A second system had to be 
introduced to obviate such contingencies, being sufficiently 
strong to remain intact during the winter, and in readiness 
for next season's operations. 

A third system, being a combination of the other two, 
was also devised. 

Before giving a description of the manner in which those 
three distinct and widely differing systems were brought 
into successful operation, the following result of their work 
is given : 

No. 1, or floating coffer dam, was used in the erection 
of piers 1, 2, 7, 17, and 18. 

No. 2, or solid crib coffer dam : Piers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 



10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and the two 

No. 3, or combined system : Piers 12 and 13. 

iVo. 1 System. — The floating coffer dam was built in two 
pieces or distinct pontoons. The sides were parallel, and 
the upper end made up of two minor sides approaching 
each other at an acute angle. 

The height of this structure was about 16 feet, and the 
sides 20 feet wide, closley corked and rendered water tight. 
The second or tail piece was built rectangular, 16 by 
20 feet, and long enough to fit in between the sides of 
the other, at the lower end, — both of them being a 
strongly built and braced as possible, to enable them to 
resist the enormous pressure to which they would be ex- 
posed, when the water was pumped out of the area they 
enclosed. When required for use, the main pontoon was 
taken by steamboats and towed to the site of the pier, and, 
having been brought to its required position, strong 
piles were slipped down through guides, into the bed of 
the river, thoroughly driven home, by pile engines, and 
served to keep the dam stationary. 

Sluice gates were then opened, allowing the water to flow 
into the pontoon, which, with additional weight placed on 
the deck, caused it to sink within a few feet of the bed of 
the river, the piles playing freely in their guides and allow- 
ing this subsidence to take place. When the required 
depth was reached, strong iron bolts secured the piles to 
the main body of the dam, and with an additional weight 
on the deck, rendered the whole mass now resting on the 
numerous pile legs, stationary and firm. 

Sheet piling reaching to the bed of the river, was then 
placed on the outside, where exposed to the current, and 
prevented it sweeping underneath the dam. 

The second section was afterwards towed up, put in place 
at the foot of the first, and sunk in a similar manner. 


An area of perfectly still water, about 130 feet in length, 
by 54 feet in width, was thus obtained in a few days, for 
subsequent operations. 

In this space a second frame, following the inner contour 
of the pontoon, was prepared, made up of timbers 12 
inches square resting vertically on each other, with the 
sides stiffened by cross braces or struts, to prevent them 
approaching each other, when exposed to the pressure, and 
framed on the bottom to mtk the irregularities of the bed 
of the river. The building was then continued till it 
rested on the bottom and brought up level with the deck 
of the outer coffer dam. The dimensions of this inner 
dam were such as to leave a space on all sides, between it, 
and the inside of the outer dam of about six feet in width, 
for a puddle chamber. Sheet piling was then driven in the 
entire length of this chamber so obtained, on both sides of 
it, and, after the gravel and loose stones were removed 
from its bottom, so far as practicable, by dredging, the 
" puddle " was introduced, consisting of thick clay, ren- 
dered impenetrable to water by tamping or beating it down. 

The dam was then ready for pumping. 

No. 2 system, the area of still water was obtained by 
inclosing the space, with the ordinary crib work of the 
country, framed to suit the bottom, upon which it had a 
solid bearing, and raised four feet above summer water, 
presenting when finished a rectangular figure 173 feet 
in length by 88 feet in width on the outside, with an en- 
closed area of still water 52 feet in width by 125 feet in 
length. The sides and lower end of this crib-work, were 
18 feet in width, and the upper end 30 feet. 

These cribs were built of open work, that is to say, 
spaces of 6 inches intervened between the side timbers, 
with dovetailed cross-ties at every 10 feet, and strongly 
bolted together with iron rag-bolts, and wooden tre-nails. 
The floor for the reception of the stones, was placed abou t 


2 feet under summer level, excepting in the head of the 
dam, where it was about 6 feet, and the entire crib-work filled 
with stones to the height of four feet above that level. Six 
feet of the upper angle of the head of the dam were taken 
off with an inclination of 1 to 1 and planked over, furnish- 
ing a sloped surface for the ice to slide on. 

In the event of the dam having to remain in during the 
winter, it was sometimes planked over, on its upper sur- 
face, so as to afford no points 'for the ice to catch on ; in 
other instances, it was left unprotected with equal success. 

The inner dam was arranged precisely as that described 
for the floating dam, and with its puddle chamber dredged 
out, and filled with clay, was also ready for pumping. 

No. 3 system. A combination of the two preceding sys- 
tems, was made use of in this mode so as to obstruct the 
main channel of the river as little as possible, and at the 
lisame time to restore it to the navigation with the least pos- 
sible delay. To accomplish this, as well as to ensure the cer- 
tain completion of the large piers, Nos. 12 and 13, during 
the season, Mr. Hodges had four rectangular pontoons 
constructed during the preceding winter, for the sides of 
the two dams. 

The upper ends were composed of detached cribs, with 
aprons between them to break the current, while the lower 
sides were made up of continuous cribs. The pontoons 
were sunk and held in place in the same manner as the 
floating dam. 

The area of still water produced by this method, yielded 
the necessary facilities for sinking the internal crib-work, 
similar in all respects to the arrangements described for 
the other two systems, and, after being sheet-piled and 
puddled, was ready for pumping. 

The two abutments were built in spaces surrounded by 
two lines of crib-work, each nine feet wide, with a puddle 
i %amber 4 feet in width intervening. 



The respective coffer dams having been brought to this 
point, the anxious time for discovering their efficiency had 
arrived, with the commencement of the pumping, not that 
the labour was great in removing the water, but the applica- 
tion of the test to show if the dams were tight, or if the water 
would not force its way up through the beds of quicksand 
and boulders, as fast as the pumps could remove it, naturally 
created anxiety. Nothing could be better than the two diffe- 
rent descriptions of pumps used. Those introduced by Mr. 
Hodges consisted of two cast-iron cylinders about 18 inches 
in diameter each, and placed vertically side by side, with 
their piston-rods connected by means of a bell-crank, work- 
ing them alternately, by the gearing connected with the 
engine. Water-tight flexible suction-hose, was connected to 
the bottom of the cylinder pipe, and thence conveyed 
into the well, sunk to the rock, into which all surface water 
was conducted. The pumps were therefore on the suction 
and forcing principle combined, and threw an enormous 
stream of water when under full headway. An objection 
to their use, was the bulk and weight with the concussion 
or jar transmitted to the dam, frequently causing the sheet 
piles to start and a break-in to follow. Before the damage 
could be repaired, much trouble had to be encountered in 
moving the machinery, to admit of the piles being replaced 
or driven home. Apart from those considerations, they 
were equally efficient with the centrifugal forcing pump 
introduced by Mr. Chaffey, throwing an equal volume of 
water, if not greater, with less power required to drive them, 


and were used by Mr. Hodges in pumping out eleven coffer- 
dams and the north abutment. 

The centrifugal or forcing pump, introduced by Mr. 
Chaffey, and adopted by Mr. John 0. Hodges, pumped out 
13 coffer-dams and the south abutment. This pump con- 
sisted of a circular cast or wrought iron shell, from 15 
inches to 2 feet in diameter, according to the power re- 
quired, and from 6 to 9 inches in depth. From the side of 
this circular box, a pipe of sheet iron, 7 inches in diameter, 
was carried sufficiently high to admit of the water flowing 
in a trough over the top of the coffer dam ; the pump 
and pipe were held in place by a light iron or wooden 
frame, 2 feet square, from the pump to a few feet above the 
top of the dams, and serving also to support the vertical 
shaft, passing down into the pump, and provided with a 
couple of wings or vanes attached to and revolving with it 
un the circular shell above described. The water flowing 
into this receptacle through appertures in its bottom, was 
seized by the rapidly revolving vanes and forced with great 
velocity up the 7" pipe, from whence it was conveyed into 
the river. 

The whole apparatus was extremely portable, but re- 
quired very high speed to do its work effectively, and with- 
out careful protection and watching, was liable to be entirely 
stopped by chips of wood or other small obstructions being 
drawn into it, in which case, it was necessary to lift the 
whole affair out of the water, before the obstacle could be 
removed. When working with its usual speed, it threw out 
from 800 to 1000 gallons a minute, lowering the water in 
the inner area of the dam at the rate of 2 feet an hour, and 
occupying from three to ten hours in entirely emptying it. 
When this was done, a well, usually four feet square, was 
sunk through the deposit, a foot into the rock below, and 
the pump moved and lowered into it. Drains were then 


made leading into this well, and the surface water arising 
from springs or leakage, conducted by them to the pump. 

The exact area to be occupied by the pier was then 
marked out by Mr. Hodges, and as many excavators put 
to work as the space would allow, and continued by relays 
night and day. If the dam proved sound, the work pro- 
ceeded rapidly ; but if the foundation was bad, a break 
would fill the entire cavity in a few moments, the men for- 
saking their tools, and, squirrel-like, running up the ladders 
provided for their escape. An examination of the break 
would perhaps shew one entire side of the dam deprived of 
its puddle, with the sheet-piles floating about in all direc- 
tions, making it necessary to re-drive them all, and procure 
additional puddle to replace that swept into the dam. This 
being accomplished, and the pumping resumed, the same 
anxious hours were to intervene before the bottom would 
again become visible, but now covered with the late puddle, 
converted into soft mud. On the excavation being recom- 
menced, and probably before the late accumulation had 
been removed, another alarm would drive the men up pell 
mell, closely followed by the rising muddy water. On this 
occasion, the break may have taken place in an entirely dif- 
ferent direction, and where least expected. A second delay 
of course takes place, until the damage is repaired, when, 
on the work being resumed, and every thing going on 
favourably for a day or two, a stratum of quicksand is 
struck, in the very centre of the dam, far from the sheet 
piles, and in a moment, the gushing, boiling, heaving sand 
and water rushes up, filling the vacant chamber as quickly 
as before. 

This time, however, the cure is much more difficult and 
protracted. The sheet-piling and the puddle on top are un- 
changed, and present no indications by which a discovery 
can be made, of the quarter in which the connection be- 
tween the inside and the outside of the dam exists. The 


pumps have to be kept running at full speed, withou sen- 
sibly diminishing the level, and the process of pile-driving 
renewed in full vigor, until the subterranean channel of con- 
nection is reached and cut off. To do this, the piles have 
now increased from 3" plank to timbers 12 inches square, 
and shod with heavy wrought-iron shoes, enabling them to 
be forced down through the solid crust, existing above the 
quicksand, into the hard bed lying underneath, and, after 
long and weary labour the pumps at length begin to make 
an impression on the inner level, gradually reducing it 
again to the bed of the river. 

Another, and if anything, still more severe trial, was 
met with, as in the case of No. 8 and No. 9, where por- 
tions of the coffer-dam, rested on large piles of round 
boulders, heaped upon each other to a considerable height, 
and not discoverable until a diver went down into the still 
water, enclosed by the dam, to ascertain why the pumps 
made no impression on the level. The ordinary sheet-piles 
and the puddle of course, had not penetrated through this 
mass of stones, which furnished innumerable interstices or 
sieve-like openings, allowing the current from the outside 
to rush in as fast as removed by pumping. Very extensive 
pile-driving follows, or else the puddle is dredged out of 
the chamber, and the stones removed by the difficult and 
laborious process of divers going down and attaching grap- 
pling-irons to each individual stone, to be then removed by 
powerful appliances from above. An idea of the difficulty 
attending this part of the operation, may be had from the 
fact that the stones so removed, ranged from 3 to 15 tons 
in weight, (with one individual stone as high as 30 tons,) 
and in many instances, with the coffer-dam resting partly 
on them, rendering the removal an almost impossibility. 

In other dams no such trouble was met with, and the 
pumping effected without difficulty ; an average however of 
the 24 piers, was about three total interruptions for each, 



On the completion of the coffer dam, and during the 
time of pumping and excavating, the staging for the 
masonry travellers was being put up ; but as there was 
some difference in the arrangement made use of by Mr. 
Hodges and Mr. Chaffey, each system will be described. 

In the mode made use of by the first gentleman the 
hoisting, conveying, and setting, were accomplished by 
means of travellers. Two of those machines were elevated 
on staging, raised about 36 feet above summer level. This 
staging was composed of bents on each side of the coffer 
dam, supporting two longitudinal caps or timbers, on which 
the rails were laid for the travellers to traverse on,, and 
extended from the upper end of the pier to the lower end of 
the coffer dam, and projected sufficiently far over to ad- 
mit of one of the travellers going out beyond the coffer 
dam, directly above the deck of the barge containing the 
stones. The extreme ends of the plates were connected 
together by timbers, which served to stiffen them, and at 
the same time prevent the travellers going overboard. The 
rails were laid on those caps to a guage of 36 feet, for 
the travellers to work on, and without obstruction from 
one end to the other, the whole staging being held in 
place, and stiffened by braces and struts from the dam, 
externally to the upright bents supporting the cap-tim- 
bers for the railway. 

For the erection of the shaft of the pier, a scaffold 
about 40 feet in length, and raised to the necessary 
height, was put up, the bents supporting it being on the 


outside of the lower race, and necessitated a traveller 40 
feet span, to admit the lower travellers passing the frame- 

The traveller was provided with gearing by which it 
could be worked by manual labour, the entire length of 
the staging, and also with a strong double-purchase 
" jennie " or smaller traveller working laterally on it. To 
the hoisting drum of this "jennie," driven by smaller 
pinions from a crank movement, was attached the lead- 
ing chain in a system of blocks or pulleys, connecting 
with the " lewis " or iron fastening in the stone to be 
lifted. This fastening was of a very simple and effective 
character. What was called the single lewis, consisted of 
a short piece of iron about 9 inches long and an inch 
round, with the upper end terminating in a strong ring 
four inches in diameter, into which was inserted the hook 
belonging to the lifting-block before mentioned. The re- 
maining end of the lewis, terminated on one side in a 
flat bevelled face, with the end somewhat larger than the 
centre. Before lifting a stone, the lewis was introduced 
into a hole previously drilled, about 4 inches deep, 
slightly larger than the section of the iron, and held 
by the hand, so that its end did not approach the bottom 
of the hole within half an inch. In this position a small 
steel wedge, flat on one side and circular on the other, 
was firmly driven between the bevelled face and the side 
of the hole. The stone was then ready for hoisting. 

From the two reversed bevelled faces of iron coming 
in contact, it is evident, the more force or weight ap- 
plied in endeavouring to remove the lewis, the firmer 
would its connection with the stone be made, and in 
this manner carried the weight with it to the place re- 
quired. To be withdrawn, a slight tap with a hammer 
on the upper end of the lewis, forced it to the bottom 


of the hole, and loosened the small wedge. Both were then 
removed by the hand. 

The double lewis, for heavier stones, consisted of two 
short pieces of iron about 9" in length, with an iron ring 
through one end of each. To be used, two holes were 
drilled into the top bed of the stone, approaching each 
other at an angle, and the lewis introduced, coupled to- 
gether by a strong chain about 3 feet in length, passing 
through the rings. To this chain the hook of the lifting 
block was attached and the stone conveyed to its re- 
quired position. Various other modifications were intro- 
duced by Mr. Hodges and made use of, but the two 
described will serve to give the reader an idea of the 
simple manner in which the enormous masses of rock 
were handled. 

Each traveller was usually provided with four men to 
work it, and, as everything underneath was distinctly 
visible, they had no difficulty in conveying the material 
to the. exact spot required by the masons engaged in 
setting the masonry. 

When the level of the pier approached the upper side 
of the coffer dam, and from thence required the stone 
to be hoisted, by far the slowest part of the process, if 
performed by manual labour, the assistance of steam was 
introduced, and expedited the work in a remarkable de- 
gree. At this period, the pump being no longer required, 
the engine which had driven it was appropriated for the 
purpose, being connected by means of a belt with a small 
pully placed on the top of the scaffold so arranged as to 
connect with the drum of the hoisting-jennie. By 
this arrangement the stone could be run up to a height 
of 60 feet, or less if required, in a very short space of 
time, when the Jennie being detached from its motive 
power, two men were able to work the traveller rapidly 


to the place required, and lower the stone quickly, or 
the reverse if necessary. This steam hoist was first in- 
troduced by Mr. Chaffey. 

Mr. Chaffey, in the erection of his piers, used a very 
different method, quite as effective, and in some respects 
more so, consisting of a compound derrick or crane, 
worked either by horse or steam power, and may be de- 
scribed as follows. The main part consisted of a mast or 
square stick of timber, about 80 feet in length, placed on 
end and terminating in an iron pivot, resting in a cast 
iron socket, secured to a platform prepared near the side 
of the masonry and supported on the coffer dam. This 
mast was retained in its vertical position by two wooden 
guys or pieces of timber, with bent plates of iron, bolted 
to their upper ends, passing over a pivot or gudgeon of 
strong iron in the upper end of the mast, with their lower 
ends firmly secured to the sides of the coffer dam, and 
placed at such an angle with each other, as to retain the 
mast in its upright position in all stages of its future ope- 
rations. Thus arranged, and with the horizontal arms after- 
wards added, it possessed a rotatory motion, within the 
limits of nearly 270 degrees of the entire circle. 

At a height of about three feet above the pier, when 
completed, the arms for supporting the travelling Jennie 
were bolted to the mast. They were in two pieces, about 
8" x 14", placed on each side of it, and so arranged that 
the longer arm possessed sufficient length to take the 
extreme ends of the pier in its horizontal sweep ; the shorter 
arm was made to clear the guy-timbers, and served for the 
truss-rods introduced to stiffen the mast. 

The long arm carried the rails on which the Jennie tra- 
versed, and was provided with a clear space between its 
two sides, from the mast to its outer end, at which point 
they were bolted together. Sufficient room was thus left 



for the blocks and chains from the Jennie to work in. The 
long arm was supported and strengthened by heavy tie- 
rods or suspension-bars, passing from each of the side- 
pieces, at short intervals, to the top of the mast, and se- 
cured to the pivot before alluded to. From this point back 
tie-rods ran to the outer end of the shorter arm, and 
thence to the pivot at the foot of the mast, forming a 
powerful truss to support it when exposed to the enormous 
leverage of a stone weighing ten tons, suspended from the 
extreme end of its long arm. 

The chains from the Jennie, for both hoisting its load 
and giving it a lateral motion, passed from it over fric- 
tion pulleys, placed at the intersection of the arms with 
the mast, then and to its foot, through which they 
passed by a peculiar arrangement, and thence, under fric- 
tion pulleys, were conveyed horizontally to the respective 
drums, connected with the machine giving them motion. 
A circular segment, about 6 feet in diameter, was firmly 
bolted to the foot of the mast, around which a chain passed 
to a third drum. 

The most novel feature in the whole affair was the in- 
genious arrangement of wheels within wheels, all existing 
in the compass of 8 feet by 4 feet, and by whose aid an 
intelligent boy, without moving from his position, could 
bring three of the six different movements into play, either 
separately or at the same time. Thus, the Jennie being at 
the outer end of the long arm, with its "fall " of chains 
and blocks attached to a stone, say of six tons weight, 
lying on the deck of a barge at the lower end of the coffer 
dam, and ready for hoisting, on the signal of " all right ' 
being given by the lewis boy, a system of clutches and 
beaks was brought into action and with the power applied, the 
stone was snatched from the deck, as if it were a pebble, and 
rapidly elevated. A second motion in the mean time carried 


it towards the mast, while at the same time the whole 
derrick was swinging around its arms and Jennie to the 
upper end of the pier, or wherever the stone was required ; 
which point reached, a motion of the hand from the fore- 
man mason, on the top of the pier, conveyed the signal to 
the boy below, who stopped the three motions instantly by 
detaching the machine from the motive power, and by the 
powerful breaks applied by the touch of the boy's hand 
the ponderous stone was held swinging in the air, until the 
mortar was spread for its bed by active masons. A second 
signal, readily understood, brought the necessary movements 
into being, and placed the stone in the exact position re- 
quired, when a tap of the hammer on the lewis head, severs 
its connection with its late load. A third wave of the 
hand reversed the three motions, by bringing other three 
into life, and in a moment or two the lewis and blocks were 
on the deck of the barge for a second stone, 
occupying but little more time than the reader has spent 
in its perusal. This derrick, with the steam traveller 
erected by Mr. Chaffey at St. Lambert, described in an 
after part of this article, form two of the most remarkable 
and successful applications of power during the entire 
progress of the work. 



Either of the described systems having been brought 
into working condition, the excavation to the rock ac- 
complished, a large quantity of stones, together with 
cement and sand, on hand, blacksmith shop and proper ac- 
commodation for the men provided on each coffer dam 
the rock swept perfectly clean, and the precise lines of the 
pier foundation marked on it, the first large quoin or cor- 
ner stone was lowered down to its long home ; others quickly 
follow, and soon complete a level course throughout the 
entire foundation, the stones of the heavy ashlar or outside 
masonry forming headers and stretchers alternately, while 
the backing or inside work is made up of blocks scarcely 
less formidable. 

The cross timbers which prevented the inner dam coll- 
apsing, were cut singly, as met with, and the ends wedged 
tightly against the intervening masonry, with the level of 
summer water reached, and all danger from breaks 
at an end, the pumping was stopped and the dam allowed 
to fill with water. Cement mortar, in the proportion of 2 
parts sand to 1 of lime, was used for both ashlar and backing 
throughout the entire foundation up to the level of surface 
water, from which point the backing was laid in common 
mortar, made of the best well-burnt fresh lime in the pro- 
portion of 1 sand to 1 lime. The ashlar throughout the pier 
from foundation-stone to coping, was laid in hydraulic ce- 
ment, with all vertical or end joints " grouted," that is 
cement mortar in the proportion of 1 part sand to 1 part 
cement, reduced by water to the consistency of a liquid 


paste, and in that condition poured into the joints, filling 
every cavity thoroughly. The external joints were then 
pointed in cement mortar in the same proportions as used 
for the grout. 

The mode of securing the upper face or cut water of 
the pier with bolts and cramps, has already been described, 
in referring to Mr. Ross's design. 

The construction of the piers was in many instances 
urged forward day and night, by successive relays of 
masons, from the lateness of the season, owing to the great 
length of time previously occupied in the preparation of 
coffer dams, pumping, excavating, &c. During the night 
large bon-fires were lighted on different parts of the coffer 
dams and piers, creating a lurid glare, in the midst of the 
surrounding darkness, but rendering everything distinct 
and visible on the work. 

The masonry of the parapets on each abutment was 
built by means of large Wellington cranes, 35 feet in 
height by 53 feet in span, encompassing the entire walls, 
and sufficiently strong to elevate stones weighing ten tons 
with safety. 

On the entrance-lintels of those parapets, above the 
roadway, the following inscription in large letters is cut 
into the stone : 




While the lintels at the other end or over the tube en- 
trance, bears this : 








Various considerations induced Mr. Hodges to adopt 
the plan of building the tubes in place, instead of follow- 
ing the method used by Mr. Stephenson at the Menai 
Straits, a considerable portion of the river being ob- 
structed by shoals, and even in deep water large detached 
boulders, brought by ice, frequently lifted their heads 
within a short distance of the surface. The numerous 
rafts constantly descending during the summer season, and 
the necessity of continuing the tube operations in the 
winter when the surface of the river was covered by ice, as 
well as its great width, were some of the reasons which 
operated against building the tubes on shore and floating 
them out on pontoons. 

In designing the most efficient scaffolds for this pur- 
pose many things had to be kept in view. Those spans 
near the shore, when built in summer, and generally be- 
yond the reach of descending rafts, required the minimum 
of strength and precautionary measures, apart from the 
necessary requirements for sustaining the great weight of 
the tube. This class may be termed No. 1 or Summer 
Scaffold. Class No. 2, consisted of those built during 
summer, in the direct channels taken by heavy rafts, and 
consequently required an excess of strength over and above 
the tube requirements, to enable them successfully to re- 
sist the impact of those enormous flows of timber when 
cast against them by the swift current. Class No. 3. — 
This mode required a vast amount of additional weight 
and stability above either of the other two, to meet the 


terrific and almost irresitible winter forces of moving fields 
of ice. 

Before describing either of those distinct classes, we will 
give a statement of the work accomplished by each. 

Class No. 1 or Summer Scaffold, Tubes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 16, 
20, 21, 22, 23, and 24. 

Class No. 2 or Truss Summer Scaffold, Tubes 1, 9, 10, 
11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. 

Class No. 3 or Winter Scaffold, Tubes 7, 8, 13, 19, and 

In the erection of Class No. 1, three wooden cribs 57 
feet long by 20 feet wide were sunk in the opening between 
two piers, dividing it into equal spaces, and raised four 
feet above summer water. The floor containing the stone 
filling was placed at that level and the cribs filled up ; 
leaving three spaces a foot wide each, the full width of the 
crib, one in the centre line of the bridge, and one on each 
side at the distance of 11 feet from the centre. Through 
those openings hard-wood piles shod with iron, were driven 
down into the bed of the river as far as practicable, and 
cut off on top to the same level. On the piles so arranged 
oak timbers were placed as cills, and pine timber bents or 
posts erected, on the top of which oak caps were placed to 
receive the longitudinal stringers running the entire dis- 
tance between the masonry of the two piers. Those chords 
or stringers were each made up of two timbers 14" x 14", 
and additionally stiffened over the intervals between the 
wooden cribs, by diagonal braces or struts, starting from 
the cills on the piles, and meeting under the chords. The 
superstructure under the floor was therefore made up of 
three distinct ribs or series of bents on each crib and 
strongly connected together by cross girths and diagonal 

Floor timbers 12" x 12" and 35 feet long were then 


placed on the top of the chords at distances of four feet 
centres and planked over. The top of the scaffold as thus 
constructed was three feet under the bottom line of the 
tube, which was supported at certain intervals on wooden 
packings and oak wedges, giving ample room between the 
scaffolds and tube for men to work. A traveller race for 
the Wellington cranes to be used in the erection of the 
tubes, was then made, and consisted of two timbers 242 
feet long, one on each side of the tube, resting on short 
posts from the floor timbers, and giving a guage of 26 feet, 
the width of the cranes. These cranes were about 22 feet 
in height, and encompassed the entire section of the tube 
except the bottom. 

In the erection of this class of scaffold, scows were some- 
times substituted for the cribs by Mr. Hodges, in which 
case piles were driven down through guides in their sides 
and supported the weight of the superstructure and tube ; 
the purpose of the scows and cribs being merely to hold 
the piles in a vertical position and afford them protection. 
In other instances where the sides of the old coffer dams 
admitted it, but one scow or crib was sunk in the centre, 
and the remaining bents erected from the piles driven 
down through the crib work of the coffer dams, the gene- 
ral style of the superstructure continuing the same. 

Class No. 2. — In this mode of scaffolding an entirely 
different arrangement was introduced. A single crib, 80 
feet long by 30 feet wide, was sunk in the centre of the 
opening and carried up a height of 10 feet above summer 
level ; the floor was near the surface of the water, and en- 
tirely filled with stones to yield the weight necessary for 
its protection when struck by rafts. 

The cross ties were so arranged the entire height of 
the crib as to furnish two chambers 2 feet in width, and 
at the distance of 13 feet each side of the centre line of 


the bridge. Those ties retained in place the hard-wood 
piles driven down into the bed of the river, and afterwards 
cut off to receive the hard- wood cills. The cills supported 
the upright posts carrying the truss superstructure, and 
formed two distinct ribs, fastened together by cross-girths 
and side-struts to furnish additional stiffness. Stringers 
14" x 14" were carried on the top of the bents the entire 
length of the span, and additionally supported from under- 
neath by braces running out from the feet of the upright 
posts to the underside of the stringers over the sub-spans, 
and also by braces from the sides of the piers in the same 
manner. Floor timbers were then placed across those sub- 
chords, at distances of 12 feet, and planked over. The 
structure at this stage of its progress was converted 
into a platform upon which the lower chords of the truss 
were put together, and built on the " Howe " principle, 
with a depth of 20 feet ; the bottom and top chords were 
14" x 24" each, made up of three ribs 8" x 14", the side 
braces 8" x 8" with the counter ones 8" x 10", and a run 
of 16 feet; the truss side-rods were double of 1J round 
iron ; the width between the side-ribs of the truss was 24 
feet. The floor was made up of timbers 14" x 14" rest- 
ing on the lower chords, at distances of 3' centres and 35 
feet in length, with every fourth one 60 feet long to admit 
of braces, being bolted to the ends and carried up to the 
top chord of the truss. The floor, when planked over, 
was about 3 feet under the bottom of the tube, and, with 
packing and wedges in place, and the Wellington crane 
placed on the track, prepared for it on the upper chords, 
the time had arrived for commencing the tube. 

The two scaffolds bordering on either side of the centre 
one, four in all, were provided with two cribs 80' x 22' in 
place of one as in other instances. This was necessary from 
the swift current running at least 10 miles an hour, with 


the great depth of about 20 feet of water, rendering it 
almost impossible to sink the wider single cribs ; other- 
wise the general arrangements of the superstructure and 
truss were the same. 

Class No. 3. — In this design a crib 80 feet long and 30 
wide was sunk in the centre and carried up to the bottom 
of the truss or 6 feet from the tube. The upper end was 
sloped up from the bottom, with an inclination of 1 to 1, 
to a height of about 30 feet above summer level, at which 
point the dimensions of the crib were reduced to 40 feet 
in length by 28 feet in width — from this level a mar- 
gin of 12 feet was left from the front edge of the slope, 
and the shaft of the crib, 28 feet by 28 feet, continued up. 
The margin so retained was planked over and formed the 
saddle of the ice-breaker, being adapted for throwing off 
the ice if it should succeed in coming over the top of the 
slope, and prevent it striking the square face of the 

The slope or ice-breaker was sheeted with 4" hardwood 
planks, resting with a solid bearing on the strong timber- 
work underneath. The first floor was 3 feet under sum- 
mer level, the second one 7 feet above, the third 10 feet 
above the last, and filled with stones to the top of the ice 

The timber work of the crib was as strongly put together 
as possible, with close joints, rag-bolts of iron, and oak 
treenails, the cross and longitudinal ties dovetailed into 
the sides and treenailed at each intersection, with the stones 
carefully packed around the ties and underneath the 
slope of the ice breaker. The external face of the crib was 
made quite smooth so as to offer no obstruction to the ice. 
The face of the ice breaker, instead of being flat or angu- 
lar, like the stone pier cut water, was rounded off to give 
facilities for the ice slipping off as it forced its way up the 


Two rows of hard-wood piles, the extreme width of the 
crib, were driven into the bed of the river, and held in 
place by ties on each side. At the level of 6 feet above 
summer water, they were cut off and an oak cill placed on 
top. The upright timbers or posts upon which the super- 
structure rested, started from those cills, and were held 
firmly in place by cross ties and the stone filling. The 
superstructure consisted of a truss built on the Howe prin- 
ciple, as described for Class No. 2. In this position the 
scaffold received the full shove of ice ; before the tube was 
commenced and after the close of the river, braces were 
carried up from the sides of the crib and piers to the un- 
der part of the lower chord, stiffening it materially. The 
Tube was then started. 

The scaffold for the centre opening, differed some- 
what from the foregoing. There the increased span re- 
quired two supporting cribs; and the height being suffi- 
ciently great above any danger from ice, allowed Mr. 
Hodges to bring the superstructure of the scaffold entirely 
underneath the tube bottom, and, for additional strength, to 
introduce a third longitudinal rib. All were strongly cross- 
braced and connected together. The run of the side-braces 
of the truss was reduced from 16 feet to 12 feet. 

In the erection of all those scaffolds, scows with lifting 
derricks; driven either by horses or steam power, were em- 
ployed, and by this means pieces of timber 60 feet long 
and 14" square were taken from the water and raised 60 
feet high, with the same facility as the stones of the 
piers, by the traveller and the steam crane previously de- 

The entire scow was made up of two smaller ones, or 
pontoons 60 feet long by 10 feet wide and about 4 feet 
deep, with the lower angles of the ends taken off. They 
were placed side by side, with an intervening space of 10 



feet between the adjoining sides, and decked over. The 
mast stood at the upper end over the centre space between 
the two scows, and was held in place by two wooden guys, 
running from the top to the outer angles of the lower end 
of the vessel. A moveable jib-boom or arm was attached 
to the mast some distance from the top and connected at 
its extreme end, with the top of the mast allowing it to be 
raised or lowered at pleasure, or as required by the height 
of the scaffold. 

A series of blocks and ropes, constituting the lifting 
arrangement, was attached to the outer end of the boom, 
with the leading rope conveyed down the mast, and thence 
to the drum of the motive power. The whole mast had like- 
wise a rotatory motion, enabling the stick, after being lifted 
to the proper height, to be deposited on the scaffold any- 
where within the range of the arm. By this arrangement 
a large truss-scaffold could be put up or taken down in a 
remarkably short space of time. The scows, from their 
peculiar shape and light draught of water, were eminently 
well designed for being moved about or moored in strong 
currents, and were first introduced on the work by Mr. 
Chaffey, with horse power for working them, and after- 
wards adopted by Mr. Hodges, who substituted steam 



The plates and iron work for the tubes were nearly all 
prepared in England, punched, marked, and ready for put- 
ting together, before coming to Canada. Thus each indivi- 
dual plate, strip, cover, kelson, gusset, tee and angle 
iron, had the number of tube, thickness, and mark corres- 
ponding with similar ones in the detailed drawings of each 
tube, sent out with the iron, and enabled every piece to be 
identified at a glance and placed in its proper position in 
the work. This was a most important point, as the plates 
differed from each other in the small gradations of T \ of 
an inch in thickness, and would otherwise have rendered 
it a difficult and tedious work to carry out the correct 
arrangement in the distribution of the different thicknesses 
of plates, and probably would have resulted in errors. 

Prior to the commencement of the iron work, extensive 
temporary shops were put up at Point St. Charles and St. 
Lamberts and provided with the necessary powerful ma- 
chinery for manufacturing rivets, cutting and punching 
boiler-plate, from an inch in thickness downwards, making 
screw-bolts, drilling and turning, as well as machinery by 
which large sections of the sides of the tubes were rivetted 
together by steam power, and so conveyed to the tube in 
course of erection. Accommodation was likewise pro- 
vided for a large number of smiths, and during the two 
years occupied with the iron work those unpretending 
looking shops were alive with labour and energy, admirably 
governed in all the numerous branches and details. 

On the completion of the scaffold, the packings and 



wedges were arranged accurately to levels furnished by the 
engineer in charge, at distances of 20 feet along the tube, 
by which a camber of 4J inches was given its bottom, to 
allow about 2 inches for subsidence of the scaffold, and 
compression of the packing, during construction, and to 
possess at least 2J inches when completed, and prior to the 
wedges being struck. The bearing-plates for the friction- 
rollers were then bolted to the bed of the masonry with 
3" creosoted tamarac plank enveloped in felt, intervening, 
supporting the 14 friction expansion-rollers, and frames 
with the cover-plates similar to those beneath, placed over 
them, and bolted to the end bottom-plates of the tube. 
Similar timbers were likewise introduced between those 
covers and the tube, as well as in the recess left in the 
next or bearing pier. Every thing was now in readiness 
for the rapid progress of the work. The respective plates 
as marked and corresponding with those on the plan, were 
brought forward and bolted together in place, and in the 
course of a week the entire plating of the bottom was com- 

Portable forges for heating rivets where then brought on 
to the scaffold, attended by a set of rivetters each. The set 
was constituted of two rivetters and a holder-up, all men, 
with two boys, one for working the forge, and the other 
for carrying the rivet to the place required, and introduc- 
ing it into the hole from underneath. The holder-up then 
brought a heavy hammer against its head to retain it in its 
place, while the two rivetters on the upper side proceeded 
with two small hand-hammers to bring its upper end into 
the required shape for the head of the rivet ; which being 
done, both dropped the small hammers, one seizing a steel 
concave cup, which he held on the head lately fashioned 
roughly into shape, and the other a heavy sledge-hammer, 
with which he struck the cup a succession of vigorous 


blows, forcing the still red-hot rivet into all parts of the 
hole, and leaving the end smooth, round, and regular. A 
steel drift, or round pin tapering to a point was then placed 
in the next hole and forced into it by several heavy blows, 
causing the holes of the different plates lying in each 
other to correspond exactly. The drift was then knocked 
back by the holder-up underneath, and a second red-hot rivet 
introduced, to meet with the same treatment as its pre- 
decessor, and so on throughout. In an after part of the 
work, while the top and sides were being rivetted, the 
holder-up stood on a light scaffold elevated some distance 
from the fires ; but such was the skill acquired by the little 
boys in the science and laws of projectiles, that with the 
small tongs they sent the red-hot messengers through 
the smoky atmosphere, with the most unerring aim, to that 
part of the narrow scaffold occupied by the holders-up, who 
seized them with similar tongs, and placed them in the holes 
previously drifted, and brought the weight to bear against 
their heads. — But to return to the bottom. Four or five 
sets of rivetters in the course of a few days prepared it 
for the reception of the side-plates. These plates were 
rivetted with the machines at the shops in large sections 
composed of 6 small plates and four T bars over their junc- 
tions, put on trollies or small cars, and, by means of the 
small shunting or pony engine, were brought immediately 
to the place required. From the trollies they were lifted on 
end and swung into place by the Wellington cranes before 
referred to, and fastened to the bottom keelsons with side 
gussets. A second one was then put up on the other side of 
the tube, and secured in like manner, as well as connected 
by the top keelsons and gussets ; others soon followed, and in 
a few days the greater part of the sides were in place. After 
the centre space of J-inch plates, amounting to about 70 
feet, was completed,thetop plates, and the longitudinal angle 


and T bars were put on and the rivetters started, the sides 
requiring them only at the top, bottom, and every third ver- 
tical T bar. The plating being completed and eight or 
ten sets of rivetters at work, the noise, din, darkness, and 
confusion, rendered the interior of the tube a perfect pan- 
demonium to a person visiting it for the first time, and as 
he carefully felt his way along, before becoming accus- 
tomed to the darkness ; falling occasionally over keelsons 
and other obstacles in his path, trembling with fear lest some 
of the fiery rivets should come in contact with his face, in 
their swift passage through the air to their respective des- 
tinations ; with the smoky blazing fires surrounded by 
active little imps covered with soot and dirt ; together with 
the drum-like reverberations of the hollow tube, as if a 
thousand demons were exercising their combined agility 
and strength in producing the greatest amount of tip tap 
tapping on its sides and top for his especial benefit, he 
would have had some difficulty in bringing himself to believe 
he was not a resident in Pluto's dark dominion, instead of 
a visitor to the celebrated Victoria Bridge. But as the 
idea of being an inhabitant of earth gained ground, and 
while cogitating upon all the wonders surrounding him, 
with thoughts reverting occasionally to the probable dam 
age sustained by hi^hearing faculties, these doubts were for 
the time dissipated by a succession of shrill, sharp 
whistles in the immediate vicinity, and on turning quickly 
to learn their import, discerned through the dim, hazy light, 
the powerful but puffing little engine rapidly approaching 
with its loaded cars the place he occupied. This ocular de- 
monstration that his ears were still all right, gave renewed 
energy to his bodily movements ; but in the agile semi- 
rotatory evolution attempted, with a view to prevent any 
damage either to the engine or himself, by a collision, a 
not sufficient heed to his footsteps brought that delicate and 



sensitive part of his person known as the u shin " into 
immediate and forcible contact with the hard edge of a 
keelson bar,andlanded its proprietor at full length,face down- 
ward, on the bottom of the tube, at the same moment the 
energetic little locomotive swept past. While afterwards 
reflecting on the erratic movements described, and congratu- 
lating himself on being in possession of all his usual 
faculties, a sharp stinging pain in the lower extremity 
brought to mind the damage sustained by his " understand- 
ing," and furnished additional food for reflection, as he 
limped out of the darkness into broad daylight. 

The plating of the tubes was usually let to the platers 
by the ton, while the rivetters, including the holders-up 
and boys, were allowed a certain sum each per diem. A 
day's work required the putting in of a certain number of 
rivets, and any over that to be counted as extra time. 

Some gangs have been known to make 4 days in about 
16 hours, working time, putting in 700 rivets, when 180 
constituted the number required. Generally, however, 
they did not average over 1 \ days each when working. 

Each rivet after being put in was tested by the inspector, 
and if loose or too small, was cut out by the parties who 
put it in, and replaced by another. On the completion of 
the rivetting, and after being thoroughly examined by 
Mr. Hodges and the inspector appointed by Messrs. 
Stephenson and Ross, levels were taken to determine the 
ordinates of the camber then existing, at distances of 20 
feet along the bottom of the tube, prior to the wedges 
being struck from underneath. 

This operation usually lasted three hours ; and when 
accomplished, the tube was on its natural bearing. Levels 
then taken at the same points, indicated a permanent 
camber from \ to f of an inch in the centre. This arose 
from the plates in the sides being punched for a straight | 
line of beam. 



Before concluding this subject, we may mention that 
observations on the state of the atmosphere were taken 
three times each day, and its consequent effect upon a 
single tube ascertained. From the information thus ob- 
tained, it appears that a beam of iron 260 feet in length 
is subject to a movement of 3 inches in a climate possess- 
ing the extremes of temperature like that of Canada. 
With the sun shining on the top and side, an increase of 
one inch in the camber takes place, with a horizontal camber 
in the centre of about J an inch. 

Observations twice a day, extending over a period of six 
years, were taken of the temperature of the water and level 
of the river St. Lawrence, at each end of the bridge. 



The following interesting particulars of the Victoria 
Bridge, and the materials used in its construction are 
given : 

First stone No. 1 Pier laid 20th July, 1854. 
First passenger train passed 17th December, 1859. 
Total length of Bridge, 9184 feet lineal. 
No. of Spans 25 ; 24 of 242 feet ; one of 330 feet. 
Height from surface of water to underside of centre tube 60 ft. 
Height from bed of river to top of centre tube 108 feet. 
Greatest depth of water 22 feet. 
General rapidity of Current 7 miles an hour. 
Cubic feet of Masonry 3,000,000. 
Cubic feet of timber, in temporary work, 2,250,000. 
Cubic yards of clay used in puddling dams, 146,000. 
Tons of iron in tubes, say 8250. 
Number of rivets, 2,500,000. 
Acres of painting on Tubes, one coat 30, or for the four coats 

120 acres. 
Force employed in construction during Summer of 1858, the 

working season extending from the middle of May to the 

middle of November. 
Steamboats, 6, Horse-power, 450,.. > 10 nnA ^ 

n _ no c I^iUUU JLOnS. 

Barges, 72, ) 

Manned by 500 sailors. 

In Stone Quarries, 450 men. 

On Works, Artizans, &c. .. 2090 do. 

Total 3040 men. 
Horses, 142. Locomotives, 4. 


The whole of this force was handled by Mr. Hodges for 
his Principals, Sir S. Morton Peto, Bart., Thomas 
Brassey, and Edward Ladd Betts, Esqnires, with the fol- 
lowing Staff : — 


James Hodges, Esquire, Senior AgeDt and Chief Engineer for 

John Duncan, Assistant Engineer. 

Charles Legge, Assistant Engineer. 

Oliver Gooding, Assistant Engineer. 

Alexander G. Fowler, Draughtsman and General Superin- 

H. H. Killaly Jun., Draughtsman. 

J. W. Woodford, Mechanical Engineer. 

John Melville, Assistant do. 

J. Dunbar, Mechanical Draughtsman. 

Simon Foote, Inspector of Tube-work. 

L. Kirkup, Jun., do. do. 

W. R. Bell, do. do. 

John McNeil, Foreman of Carpenters. 

Alexander Sutherland, Inspector of Masonry. 

J. Akenhead, do. do. 

George Pyke, Inspector of Painting. 

Edward Bromley, do. do. 

Robert Wildbore, Foreman of Labourers. 

John Baily, do. do. 

John Kay, Time-keeper. 

George Penk, do. 

George Perkins, Superintendent of Sailors. 


W. C. Spiller, Chief Accountant. 

David Aikman, Accountant and Store-keeper. 

Thomas Cole, Paymaster. 

J. Blakeney, Accountant. 

Samuel Goulder, Clerk. 

C. L. Wilkison, Clerk. 

J. Morrison, Assistant Store-keeper. 




Capt. D. Ross Kerr, General Superintendent. 
W. 0. Dutton, Clerk and Accountant. 
Capt. Sclater, Steamer " Beaver." 
Capt. Davis, " " Maskrat." 

Capt. Ryan. 
Capt. Dutton. 
Capt. Duncan. 


Dr. Godfrey. 
Dr. McDonnell. 
Dr. David, 
Dr. Howard. 

Rev. Mr. Elligood, Chaplain. 
Frederick Brown, Schoolmaster. 

Benjamin Chaffey's Contract. 

J. W. Woodford, Assistant. 

Milton Sessions, General Superintendent. 

H. Reynolds, Accountant and Paymaster. 

C. H. Pyke, do. do. 

R. Dufort, Sub-Contractor for Masonry. 

Reed & Co., do. do. 

Fisk and Hodgson, Sub-Contractors for Stone. 

John Morris, Sub-Contractor. 

David Irwin, do. Crib-work. 

Joseph Kirkbride, Foreman Carpenter. 

William Kirkbride, do. do. 

Duncan McDonald, do. do. 

Edward Williams, do. do. 

Hugh Cameron, do. of Labourers. 

Mr. Proctor, Veterinary Surgeon. 

John 0. Hodges' Contract. 

J. W. Wilstead, Sub-Contractor for Scaffold. 
William Bissant, do. for Masonry. 



George Matthews, Sub-Contractor. 
Andrew Stark, Foreman. 

James Hodkinson's Contract. 

Samuel Ratcliff, Principal Foreman. 
Edward Coulton, Principal Foreman. 
White & Co., Sub-Contractors. 
Duckworth & Clark, Sub-Contractors. 
George Pierson, Foreman. 
Edward Hughes, Paymaster and Accountant. 

Jacques Normand's Contract. 

S. Bonneville, Foreman. 
J. Normand, Jr., " 

Wm. Newcomb's Contract. 

Mr. Turnbull, Assistant. 

D. Wilson, General Foreman. 

J. Turner, Foreman. 

General Contracts. 

Patrick White, Contractor, solid approaches. 

Thomas Dillon, 


roof of tubes. 

Louis Dronen, 



J. W. Wilstead, 



G. Thompson, 



U. J. Martineau, 


tinning roof. 

Thomas Fennel, 


removing old coffer-dams 

Brown & Watson's Contract. 

D. Wilson, Foreman. 

Robert Stephenson, > Esquires, Associated Chief Engineers of 
Alexander M. Ross, ) the Victoria Bridge. 

Francis Thompson, Esquire, Architect. 

Mr. L. Kirkup, Sen., Inspector of Tube Work. 



The following summary is given of the progress made 
from year to year, during the construction of the Victoria 
Bridge : 

1854. — During this year but little was done beyond the 
necessary preparations, in opening quarries, preparing ma- 
chinery, steamboats, barges, and the requisite appliances 
for carrying on the work. The north approach was com- 
menced, and the coffer dam for the abutment constructed. 
Two floating coffer dams were built ; and an observatory 
about 70 feet in height erected at Point St. Charles, for 
the reception of a large transit-instrument, to be used in 
establishing the centre line of the bridge ; a smaller one 
was also put at St, Lambert. The most important work 
accomplished, was the opening up of two quarries, one at 
Pointe Claire, on the line of the Grand Trunk Road, fifteen 
miles above Montreal, and the second at Isle Lemotte, in 
Lake Champlain, at the distance of 60 miles from the 
south end of the bridge. The stone yielded by those 
quarries belongs to the first in the series of the lower Si- 
lurian, and is known by the geological term of ehazy, resting 
immediately on the calciferous sand-rock and the Potsdam 
sandstone, and yielding courses from four feet to one foot 
in thickness. 

From Pointe Claire, the store was transported either in 
barges through the Lachine Canal, and thence directly to 
the work, or put on stone cars built expressly for the ser- 
vice, of immense strength, and so conveyed to Point St. 
Charles stone-field, where they were deposited until re- 

At the Lake Champlain Quarry, owned by Messrs. Fisk 


& Hodgson, the mode of transit was somewhat different, 
this quarry being directly on the border of the lake. The 
stones after being prepared were shipped on schooners and 
barges and towed by steamers to St. Johns on the Riche- 
lieu River, there transferred to the Montreal and Cham- 
plain Railway cars, and transported a distance of 20 miles 
to the south approach of the bridge and deposited in the 
stone-field until required in construction. 

During the winter of 1853 and 1854, the first steps were 
taken by Mr. Hodges in laying off the distances between 
abutments and piers on the centre line. This work was done 
on the ice, the respective distances being carefully mea- 
sured with standard rods ; and on the centre of the pier 
being found, "guides" were framed, so that a long iron 
rod could be lifted and let fall in one place, forcing a bolt, 
of iron about three feet in length, into the bed of the 
river. To this bolt was fastened a chain sufficiently long to 
admit of a wooden buoy being attached to it, and sunk 
through the ice. The following summer, the buo} 7 s and 
chains were easily discovered, and served to mark out the 
correct position required for the coffer dam ; and the bolt, 
the exact centre of the pier .after the dam was pumped out. 
During the succeeding winters, the operation was repeated, 
and the bolts afterwards found within a few inches of each 
other in every case. 

We have referred to the commencement of the north 

solid approach, and have now to chronicle its destruction 

in the winter of 1854 and 1855, by the great height to 

which the waters rose at that time. Although Mr. Hodges 

had made every exertion to carry the embankment to such 

a level as would guard against this danger, and in the 

opinion of many had done so, yet the shortness of the 

season for doing it, and the increased height of the water 

above an average, resulted in its entire annihilation in a 

few moments of time. 


V- "I 




The working season of 1855 did not result in any very 
great amount of progress, in so far as the bridge was con- 
cerned, being a time of great monetary depression owing 
to the Crimean war. The energies of the contractors were 
devoted more to the completion of the line westward to 
Kingston, which was opened for traffic in the autumn of 
this year. Several important works in connection with the 
bridge, were, however, accomplished. The north embank- 
ment was again started, and by the end of the season had 
attained a height of about 20 feet above summer water. 
The foundation of the north abutment was put in and raised 
to a height of eight feet above summer water, and its ex- 
treme end to a height of 20 feet above the same level, car- 
responding with the embankment. Piers No. 1 and 2 were 
built by means of the floating coffer dams before alluded 
to but not completed in time to allow of the dams being 
removed and taken to their winter quarters, before the 
navigation closed. Those ponderous vessels, put together 
as strongly as iron and wood would allow, were crushed 
into pieces by the ice as if they had been built of card 
paper, and hurled against the cut-waters of the two piers 
they had aided in building. This was probably the severest 
test those structures will ever be exposed to, as they are the 
smallest, and consequently possess less material, than any 
of their brethren, and at the time had not the additional 
weight of the superstructure. It is needless to remark, 
that the test was triumphantly borne, without the slightest 
mark or wound to tell the tale. 


Solid coffer dams, built of timber, and raised four feet 
above summer water, with the upper ends sloped off for 
ice-breakers, were put in for piers 3, 4, 5 and 6, on the 
Point St. Charles end of the bridge ; the latter two by 
Brown & Watson, builders belonging to Montreal. These gen- 
tlemen succeeded in removing about 3000 tons of boulders, 
sand, and mud from the foundation of No. 5 pier, and in 
getting the masonry up to summer water by the end of the 
season. No, 6 dam was likewise pumped dry, but the 
time did not admit of any masonry being commenced. 

The greatest difficulties were encountered in the founda- 
tion of No. 3, from the peculiar formation of the bed of 
the river occupied by the dam. At one end there was a 
depth of four feet, and at the other nine feet of hard-pan, 
boulders and quick-sand, to be removed before coming to 
the rock. The consequence was frequent " breaks " of the 
water, causing a stoppage of the excavation, and rendered 
it necessary to postpone its completion to another year ; 
this pier proved the most troublesome of the 24. No. 4 
dam was pumped out, but with the remaining three stood 
over for the next season. A third floating coffer dam was 
prepared and in readiness for No. 7 pier the following 

On the south side of the river, some progress was made ; 
and in connection with it we have now more particularly 
to mention the name of Benjamin Chaffey, to whom Mr. 
Hodges had given a contract for the erection of the south 
abutment, and two neighbouring piers. This gentleman 
had long previously been engaged on the public works of 
Canada, as a contractor, during which time he acquired 
the reputation of being a most skilful mechanic, and, what 
was of still greater consequence, won universal confidence 
and esteem, for the probity which always characterized his 
dealings with others, rendering him emphatically " the 


noblest work of God/' and who, during the whole course of 
liis extensive connection with the works of the Victoria 
Bridge, added, if such a thing were possible, to the pre- 
vious high character sustained, and, by the ingenuity and 
skill he brought to bear in the erection of nearly one half 
of the masonry, coffer dams, and tube staging, of the entire 
bridge, contributed most essentially to its successful com- 
pletion, at the same time acquiring the unqualified con- 
fidence and esteem of both Mr. Hodges and Mr. Ross, as 
well as the admiration of all who witnessed the ingenious 
machinery he invented to aid in the prosecution of his 

On receiving this contract, his attention was first di- 
rected to the source whence the stones were to be 
furnished, and, after extensive research, decided on the 
Lake Champlain quarry to which allusion has been made. 
This quarry had been worked for some years previously, 
but principally for common building purposes, when a 
stone of one ton in weight was considered a maximum, 
with the machinery, for working it oh a corresponding 
scale. A leap from one ton to 20 tons, involved serious 
consideration to the appliances at the time existing in the 
quarry. Mr. Chaffey was therefore under the necessity of 
inaugurating a new system before closing with the proprie- 
tors for the requisite supply of stones, and in the course 
of a few days put them in a position by which they were 
enabled, by the use of his remarkable contrivances with the 
aid of a horse, or two men, to lift and transport blocks of 
20 tons, with greater facility than before they were able, 
with double that force, to move a single ton. This being 
accomplished, his attention was directed to the require- 
ments existing at St. Johns and St. Lambert. At the 
former place it was only necessary to remove the stones 
from the boats to the cars ; but at the latter place other 


considerations were involved : a stock of material amount- 
ing to at least 10,000 tons, was to be accumulated and 
placed in such position in the stone-field, prior to the com- 
mencement of the masonry, as to admit of each distinct 
course being kept separate, and readily accessible when 
required. To effect this a steam traveller 66 feet in length, 
placed on a ghanty-frame raised 20 feet from the ground, 
and extending about 600 feet in length, was constructed. 
The boiler and engine were attached to the "Jennie," and 
traversed laterally along the traveller, being provided at the 
same time with gearing to admit of a motion being com- 
municated to the traveller, driving it from one end of the 
staging to the other. With this machinery, worked by one 
intelligent boy, a train of cars loaded with the heaviest 
blocks of stone, could be moved on the railway track, un. 
derneath, backwards, and forwards, as required, and the 
stones taken up and deposited together, according to the 
courses they were intended for. We have frequently seen 
this extraordinary automaton at work, with three of its 
six distinct movements in motion at one time. Thus, a 
ponderous block of limestone weighing perhaps eight tons, 
would be taken from a car, and while in the process of 
being elevated to the height necessary for placing it on the 
top of a pile, some distance farther on, and at the side of 
the field, the lateral motion was carrying it sideways and the 
whole machine moving in the direction of the pile at the 
rate of four miles an hour ; which point reached and the 
stone safely deposited, the three motions were instantane- 
ously reversed, and the traveller brought back to the car 
for a second load, to be conveyed perhaps this time in an 
entirely different direction. A greater or more efficient 
labour-saving machine for work of this description, was 
probably never invented, and reflects the highest degree of 
credit on its projector, and his able assistant, Mr. Wood- 


ford, although but one of the many ingenious applications of 
power made by those gentlemen, as has already been seen. 

In the prosecution of his contract this season, Mr. Chaffey 
succeeded in constructing the coffer dam for the south abut- 
ment, and producing the masonry to a length of 3 feet 
above summer water. A much greater deposit of sand, 
gravel, and large boulders, had to be cleared out before 
reaching the rock, amounting to 8 feet in depth, more than 
was anticipated from previous examinations and soundings. 

The coffer dam being at a distance of about 800 feet 
from the shore, a tramway supported on wooden cribs was 
built, on which a track connecting with the stone-field and 
Champlain Railway was laid, and the cars brought down 
to the abutment. This had all to be taken up before the 
close of navigation, to prevent the ice carrying it away, and 
to be in readiness for next summer's operations. 

The head of the coffer dam for No. 24 pier was put in 
place, provided with a sloped ice-breaker, and this closed 
the season's operations on the river. 




The spring of 1856 opened with brighter prospects, 
and a vastly increased amount of work was the result. 

After the closing of the river in the winter of 1855 
and 1856, and on the weather becoming more moderate, 
Mr. Hodges instituted a complete examination of the 
bed of the river, with a view to become thoroughly ac- 
quainted with its conformation on the sites to be occupied 
by the remaining coffer dams. Soundings were taken 
accurately at distances of about 25 feet and extended 
several hundred feet from each centre line of the piers. 
He was then in a position to frame the bottom of the dams 
to suit the irregularities of the bed of the river. 

During the following season, in the spring, the water 
again rose to an extraordinary height, and succeeded in 
forcing its way over the end of the north embankment, 
although raised to a height of twenty feet the year before. 
A few moments more would have resulted in its entire de- 
struction ; but owing to the quantities of stone, earth and 
timber thrown into the gap, the wash was held in check, 
and, the water subsiding a few inches, resulted in its pre- 
servation. A few days after the complete subsidence 
of the river, the coffer dams of the previous year were found 
intact, but with many of the upper timbers ground down 
half their thickness, by the abrasion of the ice floating 
over. Operations on an energetic and extensive scale were 
at once commenced ; the north abutment, with its nume- 
rous travellers, started, as well as the clay-trains for raising 
the embankment. 


A determined battle now ensued between Mr. Hodges 
and the almost unconquerable No. 3 dam, but resulted 
eventually in a complete victory, after a desperate struggle. 
No. 4 was likewise subdued and completed. Messrs. Brown 
& Watson prosecuted Nos. 5 and 6 with such vigour as 
enabled them to finish the masonry, and have everything 
cleared away before the close of navigation. 

The large floating coffer dam built the previous season was 
launched in the spring, towed out to No. 7, sunk in place 
and proved an entire success, enabling the pier to be built 
in deeper water, and in far less time than any previous 
one. After tha completion of the pier, the dam was towed 
to Boucherville and placed in winter quarters, to be in 
readiness for the second pier. The abutment and the em- 
bankment were not quite completed, but raised far above 
any danger from ice in winter. 

On the south side of the river, Mr. Chaffey's work had 
by the end of the summer loomed up into view. 

In the early part of the season, the tramway leading 
from the shore to the abutment, had been replaced and 
continued out to the second pier or No. 23 ; the staging 
from the abutment was put up, with the necessary tra- 
vellers, and the masonry of the structure vigorously urged 
on. By an ingenious and effective method, the hoisting 
was accomplished by steam. A shaft running along the top 
of the staging, the entire length of the abutment, was 
driven by an engine on the coffer dam, giving motion to 
the hoisting-drum of each "Jennie" and elevating the 
stones in a tenth part of the time required by manual la- 
bour. When the stone arrived at the proper height, the 
" jennie " was detached from the motive power and tra- 
velled to the place required for setting the stone. By this 
simple contrivance Mr. Chaffey was enabled to complete the 
abutment in a far shorter time, than would otherwise have 


been required, at a much less cost, and forms the first instance 
on the work of the application of steam in building the 

Coffer dams of crib-work were put in for piers 24 and 
23 and the masonry entirely completed. The first was built 
with two compound derricks, worked by horse power, and 
the last by the ordinary traveller with a "steam hoist." 
The cutting and setting of the masonry thus far was per- 
formed by the Messrs. Read of St. Catharines, to whom 
Mr. Chaffey had given the sub-contract ; the cribbing by 
Mr. David Irvin. The taking up of the tramway concluded 
the season's operations. 

The amount of work performed this year was most sa- 
tisfactory, and attended with no mishap. 



The work on the river commenced this spring on th< 
level of the water permitting. Solid crib-dams were put 
in for piers No. 8 and 9, by Mr. Normand, sub-contractor, 
and the floating-dam towed up from Boucherville and 
sunk in place for pier No. 18. This position, being about 
1300 feet from the nearest built pier, was determined tri- 
gonometrically from the south shore. The chain attached to 
the iron anchors driven into the bed of the river, were 
fished up and the correct position verified. Somewhat 
greater difficulty was encountered with this pier, than its 
mate No. 7, on account of the greatly increased depth of 
hard-pan, and boulders lying over the rock. These troubles 
were easily surmounted, and enabled the masonry of the 
pier to be completed early in the season, when the coffer- 
dam was taken back to winter quarters for the next year's 

In pumping out No. 8 and No. 9, it was found an 
almost impossible task to reach the bed of the river. An 
enormous quantity of boulder-stones formed the deposits, on 
which the upper ends of the dams rested, rendering it 
next to impossible to cut off the connection between the 
inside and outside by sheet-filling and puddle. The con- 
sequence was, that with all the pumping power possible to 
be applied, very little headway could be gained against the 
seive-like interstices of the boulders. Dogged perseverance 
in pumping and pile-driving at last enabled Mr. Hodges 
to see the bottom of No. 9, and after removing an immense 
quantity of material above the rock, notwithstanding 


several " breaks in " of water, and consequent delays before 
being resumed, he had the satisfaction of seeing this pier 
rising its head nine feet above the water, when the time 
came in December for abandoning it. No. 8 was if any 
thing still worse than its neighbour just alluded to, and 
yielded but a brief glance of the terrible work in store for 
next year, furnishing anything but agreeable thoughts for 
the mind to dwell on during the long winter months which 
must intervene before it would again reappear in view 
from beneath the cold ice waters of the St. Lawrence. 
The masonry of the north abutment was completed, and 
tube No. 1 built in place, forming the first link in the iron 
chain for connecting the two shores. The contract for the 
tube-work of the entire bridge was given to Mr. James 

Mr. Hodkinson, up to this period, had been in the em- 
I ployment of Mr. Hodges, superintending the construction 
of the ironwork for the entire rolling stock built by him for 
the Grand Trunk Railway, and was essentially an " iron 
man." Many locomotives had been fitted up by him, 
as well as the splendid machine shops for the Grand Trunk 
at Point St. Charles. A better man therefore, as being 
thoroughly conversant with iron work in all its details, 
could scarcely have been chosen for this important and ex- 
tensive contract, which he prosecuted in a manner never 
before excelled, either for speed or quality of work. 13 
tubes, including the large one, amounting in all to about 
3474 lineal feet, in one year, more especially as much of 
the time was lost from not having scaffolds in readiness, 
stamps the wisdom displayed by Mr. Hodges in the selec- 
tion of this gentleman for the performance of the work, 
although no doubt greatly indebted to his intelligent and 
energetic assistants, Messrs. Ratcliffe and Colton. 
The north embankment was also nearly completed. 


From the successful manner in which Mr. Chaffey 
executed his former contract, Mr. Hodges extended it to 
four additional piers, a winter scaffold for tube No. 25, 
and a portion of the south embankment, all to be com- 
pleted during the season. To do so it was neccessary again 
to extend the tramroad from the shore to pier No. 19, a 
distance of about 2400 feet in water ranging from 3 to 9 
feet in depth, with a current of 6 miles an hour. This con- 
nection with the shore enabled the material to be brought 
to each pier by means of cars, as the shoals existing in the 
neighbourhood rendered it impossible to bring steamers 
or barges to the place. 

The four coffer dams of crib-work were commenced as 
soon as the points were reached by the tramway, and com- 
pleted in time to allow the masonry to be finished in the 
early part of December. The contract for all this crib- 
work was sublet to Mr. David Irvin, and the cutting and 
setting of the masonry to Mr. Raphael Dufort, a builder 
belonging to Montreal, both of whom carried on their work 
in a very energetic and satisfactory manner. 

The great irregularities existing in the bottom of the 
river were never more evident than in the foundation 
of No. 19 pier. At the upper end there was a depth of 
12 feet of hardpan, so compact as to return a vertical 
face for that height, while at the foot of the pier, about 
90 feet distant, the material changed to mud and stones, 
with only a depth of 2 feet to the same level of rock. 
The four piers were erected by the two compound der- 
ricks, each building two piers, during the few weeks be- 
tween the completion of the coffer dams and the close of na- 
vigation, an achievement not surpassed on the bridge pre- 
viously nor afterwards. They were driven during the com- 
mencement by horses, and subsequently by the pumping 
engine, proving as effective on the river as their coad- 
jutor the steam traveller on the land. 


A winter wooden scaffold, sufficiently strong to resist 
the force of the ice, was erected for No. 25 tube, and the 
embankment carried out from the shore to the abutment, 
to a height of 16 feet above summer level. 

The season by this time had so far advanced as to ren- 
der it impossible to save the whole of the tramway; a 
matter of no great consequence, not being again required, 
as the water beyond No. 19 was of sufficient depth for 
navigable purposes. Every thing of importance on both 
sides of the river, having been removed to land, a few hours 
after witnessed the ice in interminable fields sweeping over 
the late busy scenes of energetic and well-directed labour. 



The winter scaffold between the south abutment and 
No. 24 pier being completed in the early part of January, 
tube No. 25 was commenced, and finished the day pr 
vious to the spring shove. This scaffold was the first wooden 
structure exposed to the full force of the ice and stood the 
test remarkably well. 

A different system for constructing the coffer dams was 
resolved on, from the circumstance of so much of the 
summer being over before they were in readiness for the 
masonry, as well as the great strength of the current, in 
the centre of the river, where they were now required. 
Mr. Hodges determined on sinking the cribs forming the 
upper ends of the dams, through the ice, and building 
them sufficiently high to be above summer water in spring. 
Mr. Chaffey was accordingly instructed to proceed with 
those for piers 14, 15 and 16, and Mr. John 0. Hodges, 
to whom the contract had been given, with the ones for 
piers 12 and 13, on each side of the main channel. The 
two gentlemen at once commenced building the cribs in 
the strongest possible manner, and sinking them in place. 
They were generally 92 feet in length by 30 feet in width, 
with an average height of 18 feet. Six feet of the upper 
angle were taken off with a slope of 1 to 1, and planked 
over to furnish an ice-breaker. Each crib had about 9 feet 
in depth of field stones, with numerous hard-wood piles shod 
with iron driven down between the cross ties into the 
bed of the river. The upper surface of those cribs would 
be about 1 5 feet under the level of the water in the spring 


during the shove of the ice, and abundantly strong, it 
was thought, to resist any amount of impact from sub- 
merged ice. A most important step was thus taken 
towards the subsequent progress of the work on the de- 
parture of the ice, and with it a point oVappui for the 
commencement of operations in still water, when spring 
would come. A few days however served to dispel those 
fond anticipations of progress made, and realizing the 
words of the poet, — 

f 1 The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft' aglee." 

The terrific movement had commenced, with nothing visi- 
ble but millions upon millions of tons of ice crushing past 
the sentinel-like piers, with their giant heads far above, re- 
lieved occasionally by a large stick of timber, wand like, 
hurled into the air, as the only evidence of the presence of 
the large and supposed immovable cribs known to exist 
underneath this awful commotion. 

On the subsidence of the water, some of the cribs were 
found three hundred feet down the river from the places 
where they were sunk, while others were from 30 to 100 
feet, occupying the sites of the masonry, and presenting . a 
truly pitiable condition. 

Instead of a step in the right direction, it turned out to 
be the reverse, as not much progress could be made until 
these obstructions were removed. This operation, owing to 
the difficulty of getting the stones out of them, by divers 
and otherwise, occupied the greater part of the summer. 
A second step taken by Mr. Hodges, during the winter, 
produced the most satisfactory and beneficial results. Four 
pontoons, 160 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 10 feet deep, 
were built for the sides of the dams belonging to piers 12 
and 13, and which so expedited the work, notwithstanding 


the late casualty, as to admit of both mammoth piers 
being completed, as well as No. 10 pier, with an ordinary 
coffer dam. The winter scaffold for the large span was also 
well advanced. 

In conducting this vast amount of work to so successful 
a termination, in the face of all those difficulties and dis- 
couragements, being the largest piers, in the deepest water 
and strongest current, in the centre of the raft channel, 
and with a treacherous quicksand foundation for some of 
the dams, Mr. John 0. Hodges performed a larger amount 
of work under those peculiar circumstances, than was ever 
before accomplished on the bridge, or probably in the 

Pier No. 9, left from previous year, was finished, and 
the struggle resumed with No. 8 and waged with un- 
daunted vigour on both sides, ending however in favour of 
Mr. Hodges. The now venerable and somewhat shaky old 
floating coffer dam, was once more towed up from Bou- 
cherville, and sunk for No. 17 pier, exhibiting in its old 
age the same virtues which characterized its youth, in 
building its third pier in less time than any of the re- 
maining 23. 

Mr. Chaffey succeeded, after removing the obstructive 
cribs, in completing the three coffer dams, the whole of the 
masonry belonging to pier 16, and in bringing that of 15 
and 14 some distance above the water. During the season 
he also erected five summer scaffolds and the crib for a 
winter one. Three summer scaffolds were also put up by 
Mr. Walter Wardle, on the north side, two by Mr. Hodges 
as well as a winter one, and the crib for a second one 
sunk. These summer scaffolds, on both sides of the river, 
were also taken down after the tubes were built, and con- 
veyed to the shore. 



Mr. Hodkinson was enabled to put up eleven tubes on 
the scaffolds so constructed. 

This year, opening with disaster closed with the most 
triumphant success, 7 piers were built and two brought 
out of danger ; 11 tubes were completed by Mr. Hodkinson, 
and as many scaffolds put up and taken down, with four 
winter ones well on to completion ; the embankment lead- 
ing to the south abutment, was brought nearly to its ulti- 
mate height, and therefore out of danger ; everything 
auguring favourably for the entire completion in the year 






The last year of construction had now arrived, and with 
its close is destined to be memorable in the annals of 
time, as having furnished this triumphant result of the 
labour of man, for the admiration of all generations to 
come. A year in the time of completion had been cur- 
tailed for a " consideration, " far from equivalent to the in- 
creased cost, resulting in the additional exertions requisite 
for bringing it to pass ; the dark hours of night had to be 
appropriated for work otherwise requiring the bright sun 
light of day ; many additional men were required for forc- 
ing the work forward at this railway speed, and under, 
such circumstances greatly enhanced the cost. The con- 
tract sum was swallowed up, together with the bonus; 
large drafts on the private resources of the gentlemen 
composing the firm, were required to bring the thing to 
pass. But they were men who faltered not ; the country 
required the use of the bridge by the close of 1859, and 
was not disappointed. 

At the close of the year 1858, we stated, everything 
augured favourably for the next season's completion. A 
vast amount of work had, however, to be accomplished, 
and any unforseen mishap or accident might operate seri- 
ously against it. 13 tubes, including the large one, many 
of them still in England, had to be erected, with all the 
scaffolds, which were now rendered a difficult and hazard- 
ous undertaking by reason of the almost mill-race current 
in 20 feet of water, and the extraordinary strength requir- 
ed to guard against danger of rafts, when occasionally as 



many as three would be hurled up against one scaffold at 
the same time. 

Pier No. 11 was to be built entire, and two others com- 
pleted ; the parapet walls of both abutments were to be 
put up and the permanent way through the tubes, and the 
roof constructed; the embankments finished and protect- 
ed with stone rip rap wall. All the old crib coffer dams 
were to be torn up and destroyed, a work in itself nearly 
as troublesome as in the first place putting them in. All 
these and many other works were to be completed before 
the end of the season. 

Mr. Hodges, nothing daunted, set himself about the 
accomplishment of this difficult task, strong in the faith 
that if the thing were possible for any men in the world, 
those he had surrounding him were the ones to do it. In 
the programme issued, Mr. Chaffey was to complete his 
. two piers, build the parapet walls of the south abutment, 
and the six remaining scaffolds to the centre, complete the 
protection of the south embankment, and remove all coffer 
dams, scaffolds, and other obstructions in the river between 
the south shore and No. 13 pier. 

Mr. John 0. Hodges was to open the ball with the com- 
pletion of the enormous scaffold for the large tube, and the 
erection of the coffer dam for No. 11, together with the 
pier ; Mr. Hodkinson to have his attention fully occu- 
pied with the 13 tubes yet remaining to be built. While, 
in addition to the general planning, directing, superintend- 
ing the entire work given those gentlemen to execute, Mr. 
Hodges himself was to undertake the erection of the six 
scaffolds between the north shore and pier No. 12 and the 
parapet walls of the north abutment ; the removal of all 
scaffolds, coffer dams ; the construction of the permanent 
way through the entire length of the bridge, as well as the 
roof and painting ; the protection by rip rap wall of the 



north approach, and many works of less magnitude, bu 
equally important and necessary for the successful opening 
of the bridge. We do not propose enlarging upon this sea- 
son's operations to any further extent than to say, that it was 
owing to the indomitable energy displayed by Mr. Hodges, 
as well as to the equally energetic sub-contractors engaged 
in the work, that the public are indebted for the carrying 
out of the programme. 

By the 15th day of November the entire work had so 
far advanced as to admit of the small shunting engine in 
use on the bridge, crossing over to St. Lambert, convey- 
ing Mr. Hodges and a part of his staff, being the first in- 
stance east of the Niagara Falls of a locomotive driving 
itself across the St. Lawrence. 

During the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Blackwell, 
Vice-President of the Grand Trunk Railway, with a party 
of friends, passed over en route for England, in a car drawn 
by the same engine. 

The state of the work at the time not admitting of gene- 
ral traffic, the bridge was closed to the public, and the work 
yet remaining to be accomplished, vigorously urged on, 
night and day, until the evening of the 12th December, 
when the first freight train to Portland passed over. j 

The week following 292 cars, heavily laden with freight, 
made the transit, also during the night, as in the course of 
the day the track was required by the contractors. J 




On the 15th of December, preparations were completed 
for a final test of the strength of the tubes ; singularly 
enough at the same time, with the close of navigation, 
when vast fields of ice, under nature's superintendence, 
were hurling their solid masses against the masonry of the 
piers and testing their efficiency and strength by over one 
million tons a minute. Any force or weight man could 
bring into comparison with this, would be puny in the 

Yet notwithstanding the inability of competing with 
nature's test, a load had been obtained such as seldom be- 
fore was seen for a like purpose. A train of platform cars 
520 feet in length, extending over two tubes, was loaded, 
almost to the breaking limit of the cars, with large blocks 
of stones, and in readiness for the experiment. 

Prior to this a steel wire was extended the entire length 
of the tubes for the purpose of measuring the deflection, 
and strained by heavy weights as tightly as possible oyer 
pulleys at every bearing of the tube. This wire formed 
the datum from which all movements were to be measured 
on slips of card attached to vertical staves at various 
points along the tubes. 

During the two days occupied with the test the public 
were rigorously excluded, none being admitted by Mr. 
Hodges to witness the experiment but Mr. Keefer, Deputy 
Commissioner of Public Works, Canada, the engineers 
belonging to his staff, with Mr. Ross, and the two engi- 
neers from England. At each slip of paper one of his 



assistants was placed and provided with a lamp and a pen- 
cil by which to make the necessary marks. 

The loaded train was then taken hold of by two of the 
most powerful engines belonging to the Grand Trunk and. 
with extreme difficulty from the great weight, brought into 
the first two tubes, beyond which all their united efforts 
failed to draw it. A third engine having been obtained, the 
three were barely able to force the load along to the centre 
of the bridge ; when night coming on, the test of the 
remaining portion of the bridge was deferred until the 
following day. 

Early next morning, the interesting experiment was re- 
sumed, and concluded during the day. 

In giving the result of the fearful ordeal to which the 
tubes were subjected, we will only note the deflection on a 
pair of the side tubes, the others being similar, and the 
central one. 

When the train covered the first tube, the deflection in 

the centre amounted to § of an inch, and the adjoining one, 

to which it was coupled, was lifted in the middle § of an 

inch. The load then being placed over both tubes, the 

deflection was the same in each, or f of an inch in the 

middle ; and on being entirely removed, both tubes resumed 

their original level. 

The large centre span, entirely disconnected from the 

other tubes, on being covered with the load throughout its 

entire length, deflected in the centre only 1§ inches, and 

came back to its previous level on the load being removed. 

All these results were considered highly satisfactory, as 
being considerably within the calculated deflection for such 
a load according to formulae well known and generally made 
use of. 

Nothing exemplified more strongly the confidence felt 
by Mr. Hodges in the strength of the work, than the severe 


test to which he exposed it. The writer well remembers 
the " peculiar feelings " he experienced when standing at 
the marking-post assigned him, surrounded at the same time 
by an Egyptian darkness, dense enough to be felt, arising 
from the condensed steam and the smoke of the engine^-, 
and totally obscuring the light of a glass lamp two feet dis- 
tant. To thus stand closely pressed up against the side of 
the tube, with eyes and lamp brought within a few inches 
of the datum-line intently watching its movements, and 
leaving but sufficient room for the slipping, groaning, 
puffing but invisible engines and their heavily loaded cars 
to pass, with but a quarter of an inch of boiler-plate be- 
tween time and eternity ; or when mentally reasoned back 
to safety and security, and while listening, during the 
stoppage of the train, to the surging, cracking, crashing 
ice far below, as it swept past, to have those feelings of 
t personal security dissipated in a moment by the thought 
of an over-loaded car breaking down and burying the 
deflection-observer beneath its weight, was surely reason 
enough for the existence of the "peculiar feelings" al- 
luded to. 



On Saturday, the 17th day of December, invitations were 
issued by Mr. Hodges to a large number of the citizens of 
Montreal to attend an informal opening of the bridge for 
general traffic, to which about one thousand ladies and gen- 
tlemen responded. 

The excursion train containing this great number o 
people, was drawn by two engines and occupied 7J minutes 
in passing through the tubes ; high speed under the cir- 
cumstances not being necessary. After proceeding six or 
seven miles down the line, the train returned, and, on emerg- 
ing from the bridge on the Montreal end, the excursionists 
left the cars and partook of a champagne dejeuner on the 
north abutment, provided by the host; when the usual 
amount of speechifying took place. 

On the following Monday the bridge was handed over to 
the Company, and has ever since been in use. 

We have now completed a very imperfect sketch of this 
great undertaking, from the time the project was first 
launched into existence, by the Hon. John Young, up to 
the period when the embodiment of the idea in stone and I 
iron enabled a thousand souls to be wafted with the speed 
of the wind across the great river, high above its conflicting 
and angry elements, at a time also when all communica- 
tion for freight purposes with the south side of the river 
was interrupted, and even for passengers to cross in canoes 
during the day was a work of danger and extreme suffering 
from exposure and cold, when, by the means now m use 
during the silent watches of the night when the cituens oi 



Montreal were buried in repose, thousands of tons of freight 
lided swiftly and silently over the running ice, and, by 
the great connecting link brought into use, caused a pul- 
sation to be felt in all the veins and arteries of commerce 
throughout the land. 

In speaking of its future success, who can estimate it, 
being intimately connected with the prosperity of Canada ! 
We have endeavoured to sketch this, in dwelling on the 
country's rapid progress in material wealth, during the past 
few years, and may well form sanguine anticipations of its 
future ; indeed, but few minds are capable of estimating the 
enormous increase of population and wealth yet to be in 
our Western World, when Canada will extend to the con- 
fines of the Pacific Ocean and be covered with a net work of 
railways all converging to this point of crossing the St 
Lawrence. Then, and not till then, must be left — to the yet 
unborn millions, — the rendering of the verdict as to the full 
measure of success which will attend the Victoria Bridge, 
A few months more and the Prince of Wales will behold 
for the first time, our noble Province, the brightest jewel 
in his future diadem ; and as he gazes on the wondrous 
structure which is destined to carry the name of his 
revered parent and sovereign down to the latest time, 
may we not anticipate a thrill of pride and joy in the 
contemplation of the splendid future yet in store for his 
Western Empire ; and will not thousands unite with him 
in wishing God-speed to the march of this young Northern 
Giant in the van of enterprise, liberty and happiness on 
the western continent, emulating the noble example of its 
mother in the eastern world ! 






The inscription on the lintel over the entrance to the abut- 
ment is shewn in the above wood-cut ; and on the lintel over the 
entrance to the tube is inscribed, — 












A Brief History of that wonderful Work, from the time 






" Now we can form an estimate of the value of those few acres of snow 
ceded to England with such culpable carelessness by the Government of 
Louis XV."'— Count Jaubert at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855. 



Dedicated (by permission) to the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. 






Contrast between Canada in 1760 and Canada in 1860. ... 9 
The first practical suggestion for a Bridge across the St. 

Lawrence 12 

Preliminary Surveys 14 

Remarks on Mr. Ross' claims for the merit of its design.. . 20 

To whom the real merit belongs 27 

Sir ¥m. Logan's remarks on the shoving of the ice 30 

Extracts from R. Stephenson's Report in 1854 33 

Description of Britannia Bridge 37 

Comparative table between the proportions of the Britan- 
nia and Victoria Bridges 40 

Description of Victoria Bridge 40 

The effect of the Bridge on the future welfare of Canada.. 58 
Incidental circumstances in connection with its construc- 
tion 59 

Robert Stephenson's Report to the Grand Trunk Railway • 

Company 67 

Contract and Specification for the construction of the Vic- 
toria Bridge 87 

Report of the Engineers sent out from England to test the 

strength of the Bridge 98 

Lives of the Stephensons — father and son 100 


In endeavouring to place before the reader a 
short, but faithful, history of the Victoria Bridge, 
from the time that the first practicable idea for its 
construction was brought before the public in 
1846, up to its complete realization in 1859, the 
writer of these pages has sought for no informa- 
tion but such as he could obtain from authentic 
sources ; and, however imperfectly the facts ob- 
tained have been compiled, he trusts that the work 
will be entitled to, at least, the merit of being con- 
sidered a faithful record of the ways and means by 
which the noblest river in the world has been 
spanned by the noblest bridge. 


The Publishers, in dedicating this volume to the 
President, Directors, and Manager of the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company of Canada, under the 
favor of their permission, trust that its contents 
will be found to be a faithful record of events con- 
nected with its history which occurred before and 
during the construction of the Victoria Bridge. 
They have endeavored to obtain an impartial state- 
ment of facts from authentic documents, and have 
recorded them in its pages with feelings totally 
unprejudiced towards any party* 

In putting together the facts connected with its 
history, one cannot but read with wonder of the 
rapid strides w T hich this noble colony has made in 
civilization and in wealth, as well as in general pro- 
gress in Agriculture, Manufactures, Arts, and Sci- 
ences, since the construction of its great railways, 
which have been truly said, to be the arteries and 
veins of the body politic, through which flow the 
agricultural productions and the commercial sup- 
plies which are the life-blood of a state ; and one 
feels that if such has been the rapid progress of 
Canada, during the infancy of her days, from the 
construction of the Grand Trunk Railway, what 
will be the profit of that Railway when, in 
maturer years, all her resources are developed ? 





Canada, " the brightest jewel in the British Crown," 
and gifted by nature so bounteously with great natural 
advantages ; Canada, — now so justly proud of her prospe- 
rity, because that prosperity has been nobly earned by the 
energy and industry of an intellectual race, — but a quarter 
of a century past, was not considered by other nations as 
a commercial country, and but little known, we regret to 
say, to the mother country herself, except as a mere timber 
depot, a large unprofitable waste, a drain upon her re- 
sources. But the elements for making Canada a great 
and powerful country existed among her people and in her 
soil, which required but some motive power to call them 
into action ; and at the London and Paris Exhibitions, in 
1851 and 1855, she took her place among the producing 
nations of the earth, and has since surpassed them &\\ in 
the magnitude of an undertaking which now strides across 
our unrivalled river — a monument of engineering skill — a 
noble testimony of the energy and perseverance of her 
people— and a type of the character of the present Canadian 

In 1759, the brave Wolfe and Montcalm fell fighting at 
the head of their respective armies in a deadly struggle for 
this Province, which, in 1760, was surrendered to the 
English nation ; and at that time, the whole population of 



the country, from east to west, did not exceed 70,000 

In August, 1860 — just 100 years after — we look for- 
ward with hope to behold the child of our beloved 
Sovereign, the heir of England's throne. He comes 
among us that he may behold this rich and flourish- 
ing Colony, to mingle with its industrious and happy 
people, — a race of whom England may well be proud ; not 
men whose wealth has descended to them from one genera- 
tion to another, nor who have gained their positions in 
life by the aid of powerful connections or influential friends, 
but men who have raised this Colony to its present position 
among nations by the general energy of their characters, 
the industry of their habits, their morality and order. If 
such a people constituted the inhabitants of some of the 
states of Europe, over which the rays of science have 
beamed for centuries — when on this country its light has 
only begun to dawn — that country would speedily become 
a first-rate power ; and it requires but little of the spirit 
of prophecy to foretell that, if we are but true to ourselves, 
our destiny is a great one ; what we have already shown 
to the world is but the shadow of our future greatness. 

Canada is a country of unlimited resources, rich in soil 
and in minerals ; her forests alone are a mine of wealth, 
and her rivers and inland seas abound with fish. These 
resources which are gradually becoming more developed 
through the easy means of transport afforded by our rail- 
ways and canals, will ever be a source of a large revenue to 
her exchequer ; and if her progress continues in ratio with 
her advancement during the last ten years, she will not 
only be known as the brightest gem in England's Crown, 
but will prove a faithful friend in the days of peace — a 
powerful ally in a day of need. 

In 1808 not a steamer floated on the bosom of the St. 


Lawrence ; now hundreds rush along its waters on one 
uninterrupted inland navigation nearly 2000 miles in length. 

In 1840, a small railroad, the only one in either Province, 
was that from Laprairie to St. Johns, 14 miles in length, 
and connecting Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence : 
it was looked upon with admiration and wonder. Now, 
1200 miles of railway intersect this Province in one con- 
tinued line from Port Sarnia,on the shores of Lake Huron, 
to Riviere du Loup, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and, 
altogether, nearly 2000 miles of railroad, in different direc- 
tions, have opened up the country to commerce. But thirteen 
years ago heavy goods had to be transported over almost 
impassable roads at an enormous cost and loss of time ; 
now splendid canals connect river and lake in, almost, one 
continued chain of uninterrupted navigation. 

In 1842, it took days for a letter to reach a distant part 
of the Province ; at present, telegram wires, like spiders' 
threads, extend from city to city and the thoughts of man 
fly with lightning speed. The voice of our Queen has 
already passed under the waters of ocean in friendly greet- 
ing to a ruler of a powerful country ; and we hope, with 
that prophetic hope which falls upon us like a forerunner 
of certainty, that the day is not far distant when the 
words of our beloved Sovereign will again pass under the 
great Atlantic, and bring greetings of peace, good will arid 
gladness to her loyal subjects in Canada. 

And such are the changes which have come over this 
Province within the short period of a quarter of a 
century, in which her struggles to keep pace with other 
countries in the rapid strides of improvement have been 
of no ordinary kind. There is nothing that proves more 
prejudicial to public undertakings than popular and false 
prejudices; and too frequently do we find statesmen and 
influential persons biassed in their opinions and judgments. 

12 hunter's hand book of 

There exists, also, in every community, a certain class of 
people who are always ready to decry the praiseworth 
projects of others, and who can view no public under- 
taking without attributing to its projectors selfish and 
sordid views ; who, when success has crowned the perse- 
vering efforts of a talented man, are ready, like harpies, to 
snatch from him the meed of praise by attributing the 
glory of the work to other people. 

It might be considered out of place in a work of this 
kind, professing to give merely a history of the bridge, to 
enter into any reflections of the foregoing nature, but it is 
our desire to place before the public, in a true light, the 
names of those persons to whom " Canada and the world 
are indebted for the Victoria Bridge," from the construction 
of which a new era in the commercial prosperity of this 
country is likely to ensue. 

We also purpose to record the names of all those who 
were particularly employed on the work ; and we would beg 
to remark, that in so doing, the information afforded is 
. not from mere hearsay, but from a diligent and careful 
examination of documents, the authenticity of which is 

It has been stated that, some years ago, the idea of .cross- 
ing the St. Lawrence, either by bridge or tunnel, had 
occurred to the imagination of some of the citizens of 
Montreal; in this there was nothing extraordinary, for 
such an idea is but a simple thought that would rise up 
in the mind of any ordinary man, who wished to send or 
bring goods across the river at a time when it was impas- 
sable from floating ice ; and some very visionary schemes 
are said to have floated in the brains of more than one 
individual in this city. But to the mind of the great 
Stephenson, when he first visited this country, some twenty- 
seven years ago, " the idea of bridging the St, Lawrence 


never occurred;" simply, we suppose, because he possessed 
no property on either shore that would have been improved 
by its construction in any particular spot, and then 
he, probably, would have wished, like other men, to have 
crossed the river — but by a feasible plan. 

In June, 1846, an editorial appeared in the Economist, 
a paper then published in Montreal, of which the following 
is an extract. It was written at a time when a great 
difference of opinion existed as to the proper site for the 
terminus of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Eailway : 

" But where is the terminus of the St. Lawrence railway to 
be? Let us examine the advantages of the several points that 
present themselves for the terminus ; if it is made at Longueuil, 
or if it is placed immediately opposite the city, a little above 
St. Helen's Island, long solid wharfs, (owing to the shallowness 
of the water,) will have to be built to enable freight cars to 
reach vessels coming from the interior. Ferry boats will be 
required to convey passengers across the river, and a natural 
consequence must be, that a great portion of the business will 
be done on the opposite shore. But a still greater objection is, 
that at the very time we most require a railroad to carry off what 
produce may be left on board for shipment, all communication 
is closed — we mean in the spring and fall. How, then, is the 
difficulty to be got over ? We reply, by building a bridge across 
the St. Lawrence. This is no visionary scheme ; we speak ad- 
visedly when we say that it is perfectly practicable. Such a 
bridge should be erected from this side, a little below Nun's 
Island, at which part of the river the water is quite shallow, 
and the shoving is nothing like so violent as lower down the 

This article was written by the Hon. John Young:; and 
it is worthy of remark how excellent are the perceptive 
faculties of this energetic citizen, that the bridge has 
actually been constructed on, or near, the line indicated by 
him in the above extract. 

In September of the same year, another article appeared 

14 hunter's hand book of 

in the Economist, written by the same gentleman, in which 

he stated : 

" Twenty years ago, the project of a bridge across the St. 
Lawrence would have been scouted as absurd and impracticable, 
nay, twenty months ago there were few, even amongst our most 
energetic and enterprising citizens, who bestowed a thought on 
the subject. The opinion is daily gaining ground that the pro- 
ject is not only feasible, but highly expedient for the interests of 
the city." 

In consequence of these remarks, action was at length 
taken in the matter. 

On the 23d September, 1846, the following resolution 
was passed at a meeting of the Directors of the Atlantic 
and St. Lawrence Railroad Company : 

" It was moved by Mr. Young, seconded by Mr. Gait, ' That 
this Board do hereby authorize the Company's Chief Engineer to 
cause a survey to be made of the proposed bridge across the St. 
Lawrence, for the purpose of ascertaining its practicability and 
an approximate estimate thereof." 

The first survey ever made for the site of the Bridge 
was by Mr. A. C. Morton, then Chief Engineer of the 
St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, in accordance with 
the instructions furnished to him by the Hon. John Young. 
This gentleman reported on the practicability of construct- 
ing a bridge across the St. Lawrence from below Nun's 
Island, in the general direction of the " Tobacco House/' 
which is nearly the line of its present site ; and Mr. Gay, 
in his report to the Hon. John Young, Chairman of the 
Committee for procuring plans, estimates, &c, for a 
bridge across the St. Lawrence at Montreal, thus alludes 
to this survey : 

" Another line has been examined across the river, under the 
direction of Mr. Morton, Chief Engineer of the Atlantic and 
8t. Lawrence Railway, to whose kindness I am under obliga- 
tions for a copy of the soundings taken upon it, which is the. 


more valuable as affording comparative evidence of the accuracy 
of our measurements." 

It does not appear that Mr. Morton's report was ever 
published, but his plan still exists in the Grand Trunk 
Railway Office, and is deposited among those connected 
with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad Company, 
before it became a part of the Grand Trunk Railway. 
The credit, therefore, would appear to be due to Mr. 
Morton as having been the first Engineer who, after a 
survey of the river, reported favourably on the practica- 
bility of constructing a bridge across the St. Lawrence, 
near its present site, according to the views of Mr. Young. 

In October, 1846, Mr. Gay, of Pennsylvania, was em- 

| ployed by a committee of citizens, consisting of Messrs. 

Davidson, Bourret, Hayes, Pierce, Stephens, Young, and 

Judah. Of this Committee, the Hon. John Young was 


Mr. Gay, who was then Chief Engineer of the St. 
Lawrence and Atlantic Railway, likewise reported on the 
practicability of constructing a bridge over the river, but 
he condemned what was called the " railway line," not as 
impracticable, but because he considered preferable (for rea- 
sons given in his Report) a line extending " from a 
point half a mile above the foot of the island (Nun's), 
across the main channel to the house occupied by Charles 
Mayo," on the south shore of the river. There has ex- 
isted an erroneous impression that Mr. Gay reported al- 
together unfavourably on the practicability of constructing 
a bridge across the St. Lawrence. This is an error, for in 
his Report he distinctly states : — " I am of opinion that 
a permanent and substantial bridge can be built, without 
encountering any difficulty of a serious character." The 
description of structure proposed by this Engineer, was 
" Burr's combined truss and arch bridge." 


About this timo a period of general depression seems to 
have prevailed throughout the Province. We quote the 
words of an article which appeared in the Toronto Leader 
on this subject, and from which we will take the liberty 
of drawing largely in these pages, as the statistics con- 
tained therein were obtained from the first authority. 

11 Five years, however, passed away, an epoch of social and. 
commercial depression, and of political agitation, marked by 
the one melancholy feature of a continual struggle for the ma- 
jority even to live. What energy, Montreal, as a commercial 
community possessed, was absorbed in the effort to finish the 
railway, and out of Montreal, the bridge was not looked upon 
with favour." 

Still the bridge was not lost sight of: on the contrary, 
Mr. Young seldom failed, at the annual meetings of the 
St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway Company, to point 
out its imperative necessity. It was not, however, till 
June, 1851, that the Directors of the above Company of 
which Mr. Young was one, furnished Mr. Thos. C. Keefer, 
C. E., with instructions to make a survey of the bridge. 
Mr. Keefer had been employed by the Montreal and 
Kingston Railway Company, of which Mr. Young was 
President, to make a survey of a line of railway from Mon- 
treal to Kingston, and it was at Mr. Young's earnest re- 
quest to the Directors of the above Company, that the sur- 
vey of the Bridge was included. It is worthy of being 
recorded in these pages, that Mr. Young overcame the 
great obstacle to Mr. Keefer's survey of the Bridge, by 
becoming responsible for the sum of £1500, advanced by 
the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway Company. This sum 
however, was insufficient, and the Harbour Commissioners 
advanced £150 as well, on Mr. Young's personal guaran* 
tee. The amount due to the St. Lawrence Railroad, was 
paid by the Grand Trunk Railway Company after the pass- 



ing of the Bill ; and the amount due to the Harbour Com- 
missioners, with the advances made by Mr. Young 
out of his private fiends , amounting to upwards of £600, 
were paid by the Grand Trunk Railway Company, about 
three years ago, under the authority of an Act of Parlia- 
ment, which provided for the payment of all just claims 
against the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway Company. 

It is seldom, indeed, that we meet with such liberality, 
in this country, on the part of a private individual to for- 
ward public purposes ; and this, alone, shews the confidence 
Mr. Young possessed in the scheme, and entitles him, 
with what has been already stated, to the honour of hav- 
ing been the first projector of the Victoria Bridge. 

In September, 1852, Mr. Young, then acting as Chief 
Commissioner of Public Works, suggested to the Hon. L. 
H. Holton, then President of the Montreal and Kingston 
Railway Company, the propriety of that Company waiving 
their charter, upon condition that the Grand Trunk Com- 
pany would construct the Victoria Bridge. This was done 
in a letter dated 16th September, 1852. 

The result of Mr. Keefer's survey is contained in a 
very ably written Report, which was afterwards published 
in 1853 ; and in justice to that gentleman, we cannot re- 
frain from laying before the reader a few short extracts. 

Mr. Keefer, in commencing the survey, at once saw the 
necessity of a thorough hydrographic survey of the shoals 
opposite to Montreal ; which was very precisely made on 
the ice. The result of these soundings, Mr. Keefer states, 
" has fully confirmed my anticipations with respect to the 
peculiar conformation of the bed of the St. Lawrence op- 
posite to Montreal, and its remarkable adaptation for a 
bridge site." He then proceeds to state that the bridge 
must be so arranged as not to impede the navigation, that 

a draw-bridge in its centre of 200 feet in width was im- 

B 2 

18 hunter's hand book of 

practicable, and recommended the adoption of a high level 
bridge, elevated about 45 ft. over low water mark at the 
abutments, and rising gradually, from either shore, to the 
height required for steamers to pass under its main arch, 
which was to span the navigable channel. The bays, or 
distances between the piers, on account of the cribs 
which were to be placed around them as ice breakers, he 
fixed at 250 feet, and recommended the importance of 
solid approaches upon the shoals at either end of the 
bridge (as at present constructed). 

11 Having stated, first, that the bridge should pass over the 
navigation — second, that it should be a solid railroad bridge 
resting upon piers, and, thirdly, that these piers should be as 
few in number as practicable, I will add that it is greatly to be 
desired that so extensive and important a structure should be 
constructed of some more durable and less inflammable a mate- 
rial than wood ; the length of the superstructure required is 
about 7000 feet, the cost of which, if constructed of iron, would 
be about six times greater per lineal foot than that built of 

" The extra cost of iron over wood would be about £500,000, 
or much more than the whole estimate for a wooden bridge. A 
wooden bridge properly constructed and protected will last half 
a century, and if it were not for the contingency of fire, would 
be all that is needed." 

The difficulty of obtaining money for public works at 
this time — even for the means required to carry on this 
survey— may have influenced Mr. Keefer's mind in mak- 
ing this Report, as economy in every shape had to be 
consulted — for, in another part of Mr. Keefer's Report, 
he says : — 

11 The cost of bridging the St. Lawrence from Point St. Charles 
across Moffatt's Island to the St. Lambert shore, will of course 
depend upon the plan and material employed ; but as the finan- 
cial obstacles have hitherto been the barrier to its commence- 
ment, it is necessary to present estimates, showing the least 



amount for which a serviceable structure can be obtained, as well 
as estimates for a complete and durable work worthy of the great 
interests which it affects." Again ; " Recognizing the principle 
that it is the duty of an engineer to shape his plans according 
to the wants and necessities of the case, it will be evident that 
the class of structure undertaken will be governed by the pros- 
pective revenue. 

11 The cost of an effective bridge upon the site proposed, with 
a superstructure of wood for the arches, and a wrought iron 
tube for the centre one, the whole resting upon abutments and 
piers of substantial masonry, and having approaches formed by 
solid embankments of earth, will be £400,000 currency. With 
an iron superstructure in side arches, the cost would be 
£900,000 currency." 

From the above extract we might infer that Mr. Keefer 
would have recommended a superstructure entirely of iron, 
could he have foreseen the amount of funds that were 
obtained a few years afterwards for this great object. As 
it was, he recommended a tubular beam of iron for the 
eentre opening, at an additional cost of £43,000. 

This Report of Mr. Keefer' s, which embodied all the 
information obtained by the two previous surveys, entered 
very minutely into the local phenomena of the piling of 
the ice, and the possibility of overcoming the physical 
difficulties to be encountered, and was of great service to 
Mr. Stephenson, who, in making allusion to a portion of 
the work says : — 

11 1 cannot do better than quote the following words from the 
excellent report addressed to the Hon. John Young by Mr. T. O. 
Keefer, whose experience in such matters, from long residence 
in the country, entitles his opinions, as to the proper character 
of such works, to confidence." 

It would be out of place here, to enter into the differ- 
ences and difficulties that occurred before the great railway 
contract ultimately fell into the hands of one great firm. 

In October, 1852, the Grand Trunk Railway Company 

20 hunter's hand book of 

made their first location surveys for the bridge ; and ii 
February, 1853, the survey for the bridge, on its presem 
site, was commenced. 

As we have already given notice to the names of 
those Engineers who were connected with the pre- 
liminary surveys and designs, we feel bound to say a 
few words in relation to Mr. Ross's claims in regard 
to the great work ; for it is much to be regretted that any 
unpleasant feeling of distrust and jealousy should have 
arisen between Mr. Ross and Mr. G. R. Stephenson, the 
relative of Mr. Robert Stephenson, at a time when that 
colossus of science — that great and good man — was passing 
from this life to his God. 

It would appear, from all that we can ascertain on this 
subject, from which we have made our own deduction, and 
the reader has the facts before him to make his therefrom, 
that when Mr. Ross visited this country in 1852, Mr. 
Young, who never for a moment abated in his zeal to see 
the accomplishment of his wishes fulfilled, took Mr. Ross 
with him in a boat, accompanied by a third person, to 
examine the different localities which had been recom- 
mended for a site of a bridge by the Engineers before 
mentioned ; and after spending some hours upon the water 
in a careful examination, Mr. Ross was of opinion that the 
present site was the one he would select, and strongly 
advocated the construction of an iron tubular bridge. It 
is thought that before Mr. Ross returned to England he 
prepared a design of a bridge. 

That Mr. Ross put his ideas into form, and is entitled 
to the credit of having submitted a design for a tubular 
bridge across the St. Lawrence is very probable, although 
Mr, Stephenson does not allude to it. Mr. Stephenson, in 
a speech which he made at a dinner given to him by the 
citizens of Montreal on the 19th of August, 1853, said on 
that occasion : — 


" I cannot sit down without referring to the all important 
subject of a bridge over your magnificent river. Abundance of 
information was brought to me in England by my esteemed 
friend Ross, during the late visit he paid to that country, so that 
I was able to get a good notion of what the bridge was to be before 
I came out here. The first idea was certainly startling. I had 
been here twenty years before, and the St. Lawrence seemed to 
me like a sea, and I certainly never thought of bridging it." 

And on the same occasion he said : — 

"I assure you I appreciate your kindness deeply ; and one of 
the proudest days of my life will be that on which I was called 
upon to confer with the Engineers of the Grand Trunk Railway 
on bridging the St. Lawrence." 

There is nothing in the above extracts that would lead 
one to suppose, for a moment, that any other party than Mr. 
Stephenson could lay claim to the design for the Bridge 
as it now stands. But, towards the completion of the work, 
and just previous to Mr. Stephenson's death, an unpleasant 
correspondence took place in some English and Canadian 
newspapers on this subject. 

An article appeared in the London Morning Post, in 
which it was stated that " to Mr. A. Ross is due the entire 
credit of the plan by which it (the Bridge) has been accom- 
plished, adding, that the position of Mr. Stephenson was 
a very secondary one, being employed merely " as a con- 
sulting Engineer." It also stated that " the whole design 
for the Bridge was completed, the estimates made, and 
the contract entered into before even Mr. Stephenson was 
spoken to on the subject, and that the form of the piers and 
icebreakers was due to Mr. Boss." The author, over the 
signature of " Veritas," claimed for Mr. Boss the whole 
credit for the entire plan of the Bridge, and designated 
that gentleman " as the man to whom Canada and the 
world are indebted for conceiving the design of the Victoria 
Bridge, providing for it, and successfully overcoming all 
difficulties, and carrying out the details of the plan." 

22 hunter's hand book of 

To this bold assertion, put forth in a prominent English 
paper, Mr. George Robert Stephenson, (his cousin then 
lying dangerously ill,) found himself bound to reply, as 
silence, to such a broad assertion, would not only have left 
a stain upon a hitherto stainless character, of having ap- 
propriated to himself the credit of another man's design, 
but would have been construed into a silent acquiescence 
in the statement put forth. 

The reply to this charge went on to say that, 

" Mr. Stephenson, although he no doubt relied frequently and 
largely upon Mr. Ross, is by no means indebted to that gentle- 
man, as the letter (in the Morning Post) would imply, even for 
the data on which his calculations were made. These data 
were chiefly collected by Mr. T. C. Keefer before Mr. Ross visited 
Canada, and Mr. Keefer handed over his material to Mr. Ross on 
leaving the service of the Company. 

" All the details, from first to last, have been under Mr. Ste- 
phenson's supervision, and many of them worked out in his 
office in London, under my sole superintendence. The whole 
of the iron work has been designed in this office. It has been 
constructed, and some of the tubes put together temporarily in 
England, and it has all been shipped to Canada with detailed 
drawings, and instructions approved by Mr. Stephenson himself, 
so as to leave the parties on the other side little more than the 
duty of putting the pieces together as desired. 

" The construction of the bridge was, from first to last, placed 
in the hands of Mr. Stephenson by the Railway Directors, with 
full power to appoint whomsoever he thought proper to assist 
him. The Directors had placed their reliance on his reports, 
and have held him responsible for the works. Mr. Stephenson 
would not have shrunk from the responsibility had any unfore- 
seen failure or accident occurred, nor has he shrunk from de- 
fending both the principles and the details of his plan from the 
various attacks to which they have been subject. 

" Allow me to add, however, that it is with great reluctance, 
and only as an act of justice to other parties concerned, that Mr. 
Stephenson authorizes me, and that I feel compelled to make 
this statement. Mr. Stephenson has always been, and always 
will be, ready to do ample justice to Mr. Ross, who has never 


himself put forth the extraordinary pretensions claimed for 

The concluding paragraph of this letter would have been 
quite satisfactory for public opinion on the matter, had 
Mr. Ross kept silent ; but, in reply to Mr. Gr. R. Stephen- 
son, he called upon the Hon. John Young for a statement 
of the facts known to him when the site of the proposed 
bridge was examined in July, 1852. Mr. Ross, therefore, 
fairly endorsed the article in the Morning Post over 
the signature of " Veritas ;" he, moreover, designated 
the letter of Mr. Gr. Stephenson as malicious, and written 
without the authority of Mr. R. Stephenson. Mr. Young 
replied to Mr. Ross, stating, as before mentioned in these 
pages, that Mr. Ross had accompanied him to examine the 
various sites proposed for the bridge, and " when near the 
present site, Mr. Ross first suggested the idea of a tube or 
beam bridge, and exactly conveyed to my mind a descrip- 
tion of the present structure. This was in the spring of 
1852, one month after the arrival of Mr. Ross, and before 
it was possible for him to communicate with Mr. Stephen- 

Now it is not our desire to take one iota from the credit 
fairly due to Mr. Ross ; on the contrary, he is entitled to 
the highest praise for the manner in which he performed the 
duties of Chief Engineer on this side of the Atlantic ; but no 
one who has read the beautiful Report of Mr. Stephenson 
(which we have printed in full in the Appendix) can for a 
moment suppose that any other man than he conceived, 
designed, and carried out the Victoria Bridge in its present 
form. He had too many laurels on his brow, to seek, for 
one single moment, to detract from the fair fame of any 
man ; and his name stands too high for any one to suppose 
that, if Mr. Ross was entitled to the credit of the design, he 
would not gladly have testified thereto. 


24 hunter's hand book of 

As we said before, it is probable that Mr. Ross did mak< 
a design for a tubular bridge before Mr. Stephenson was 
appointed Engineer, but, if so, it must have been a very 
crude one. Mr. Stephenson merely said that " abundance oi 
information was brought to me in England by my esteem* 
ed friend Ross, so that I was able to get a good notion of 
what the bridge ivas to be before I came out here ;' ! but, in 
suggesting the form of a tubular bridge to Mr. Young, Mr. 
Ross was merely adopting the invention of Mr. Stephen- 
son, which had been patented, and so successfully carried 
over the Menai Straits, two years before. Mr. Mor- 
ton and Mr. Keefer are just as much entitled to the claim 
of being the first designers of the Victoria Bridge, as it 
now stands, as is Mr. Ross, when we take from it the merit 
of the tube principle, to which the last gentleman could 
lay no claim. Their lines, as regards the site of the bridge, 
are nearly identical ; on any of the sites proposed by them 
a bridge could have been in safety constructed, and we 
presume that there could have been little difference in the 
form of the piers and the distances between them, as the 
cut water, or ice breaker, which now forms a part of the 
stone piers, was not the method first contemplated, even by 
Mr. Stephenson himself, as will be seen by the following 
extract from Mr. Stephenson's Report to the Chairman 
and Directors of the Grand Trunk Railway Company : 

" In the first design for the Victoria Bridge, ice breakers, very 
similar to the above described by Mr. Keefer, were introduced, 
but, subsequently, the arrangement was changed, partly with a 
view of gaining the assistance of the whole weight of the bridge 
to resist the pressure of the ice before it became fixed, and 
partly for the purpose of obviating a considerable annual 

Mr. Stephenson made no mention whatever, at the pub- 
lic dinner given to him at Montreal, at which Mr. Boss 
vms present ', of any design having been submitted to him 


by that Engineer. He gives Mr. Ross full credit for all 
data collected by that gentleman, but says not one word 
of any plan having been submitted to him ; and the only 
inference we can draw from this silence, is, that to Mr. 
Stephenson, alone, is due the credit for the Victoria Bridge, 
as it now stands, in all its details and perfection. 

Mr. Ross' name was associated with that of Mr. Ste- 
phenson, in the contract entered into by the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company, with Messrs. Peto, Brassey, 
and Betts, in the same way as was Mr. Fairbairn's in the 
construction of the Conway Bridge ; but it was more par- 
ticularly necessary in this case, as Mr. Ross was to be the 
Chief Engineer on this side the Atlantic, and his position 
required to be determined and mentioned in the body of 
the contract, as the contractors could only be paid upon 
his certifying to the work having been properly performed. 
The contract states : — 

B The contractors will make, build, and construct the said 
tubular bridge over the said river St. Lawrence at or near Mon- 
treal, according to the plans, sections, and specifications pre- 
pared and drawn by Robert Stephenson, of London, aforesaid, 
Civil Engineer, M. P., and Alexander McKenzie Ross, of Mon- 
treal, 0. E." 

But immediately following, it says : 

M The Bridge when completed to be in perfect repair, and of 
the best and most substantial character, and to be approved of 
by the said Robert Stephenson." 

Mr. Ross' name is here left out, as he was merely the 

Assistant Engineer. 

Further on it states : 

11 That in the case of the death, refusal, or inability to act of 
the said Alex. McKenzie Ross, another engineer shall from time 
to time be appointed by the said Robert Stephenson in place of 
the said Alex. McKenzie Ross, and who shall have all the pow- 
ers of the said Alex. McKenzie Ross. And in the event of the 

26 hunter's hand book of 

death or refusal or inability of the said Robert Stephenson, then 
all things then remaining to be done by the said Robert Ste- 
phenson shall be done by an eminent Civil Engineer to be ap- 
pointed by the President for the time being of the Institution of 
Civil Engineers in England, upon the requisiton of the parties 
hereto, or either of them." 

Here we see again the secondary position of Mr. Ross 
if Mr. Ross should die or refuse to act, Mr. Stephenson has 
full power to appoint another Engineer in his place ; but 
if Mr. Stephenson should die,Mr. Ross is not to replace him, 
but his position to be filled up by an eminent Engineer, ap- 
pointed by the President of the Institution of Civil En- 

In the next paragraph of the contract it states : 

" That if any question or difference of opinion shall arise 
between the parties hereto, as to this agreement — or any matter 
connected therewith or arising thereout in any way, &c, it shall 
be referred to the absolute decision of the said Robert Stephen- 
son, as sole arbitrator ; and the decision of the said Robert 
Stephenson shall be binding and conclusive upon both parties 
as to the question or difference of opinion so referred to him." 

It is the duty of every Assistant Engineer, and more par- 
ticularly in the case of Mr. Ross, who was so far separated 
from the principal, to collect all data, and to afford such sug- 
gestions from time to time, as he may, in his professional 
opinion, consider advantageous to submit to the Chief En- 
gineer, with regard to any alterations deemed necessary 
to the works constructing under his superintendence, and 
which, from his more perfect knowledge of the locality, 
&c, he is expected to be better informed upon than the 
head of the department. And no doubt Mr. Stephenson 
received many valuable suggestions from Mr. Ross during 
the progress of the work, particularly with regard to the 
icebreakers, piers, &c, as we find mentioned in a letter 
from Mr. Ross to Mr. Stephenson, dated 30th Nov., 1855. 


Mr. George R. Stephenson distinctly states, in his let- 
ter dated 22d Sept., 1859 : 

" Mr. Ross, from his first connection with the Victoria Bridge, 
has been, together with the rest of the Engineering staff, under 
the pay of Mr. Stephenson, the Chief Engineer. Mr. Ross has 
not ventured at any time on any important work connected 
with the bridge, except upon instructions or after consultation 
with Mr. Stephenson, nor has Mr. Ross had to bring any origi- 
nality of conception or ingenuity of adaptation to bear upon 
either the designs or the details since the work commenced." 

As this assertion was never, to our knowledge, directly- 
denied, we may fairly place on record in these pages the 
names of the following gentlemen and the merits to which 
they are justly entitled. 

To the Hon. John Young, then, is Canada indebted for 
the conception of a feasible plan of a bridge across the St. 
Lawrence on its present site, and which would not have 
been constructed at the present day, had it not been for the 
great personal exertions, and the pecuniary assistance ren- 
dered by him to obtain the surveys. He it was who gave 
it its first motive action.* 

Mr. Morton's name must be associated with its history, 
as the engineer who first reported on the practicability of 
constructing a bridge across the St. Lawrence, somewhere 
near its present site. 

To Mr. Keefer was Mr. Stephenson indebted for all the 
valuable data collected and mentioned in Mr. Reefer's re- 
port, and this engineer is justly entitled to the full credit 
of having designed the first plan of a bridge over the St. 

* Nor is this the only public work of importance and utility to 
the great commercial interests of the Province for which the 
people of Canada are indebted to the Hon. John Young, as is 
well known to his fellow citizens, though not generally so to 
strangers. It would be out of place, however, to allude to them 
in these pages. 


hunter's hand book of 

Lawrence which could have been successfully carried inl 
effect, as has been subsequently proved by the construe tioi 
of the Victoria Bridge upon nearly the same site. 

To Sir William E. Logan was Mr. Stephenson indebted 
for his first ideas of the probable effect of the pressure oi 
the ice against piers.* 

Mr. Ross, as Chief Engineer on this side of the Atlantic, 
is entitled to very great credit for his careful supervision 
of the work, which was accepted from the hands of the con- 
tractors on the 17th December, 1859, by the two English 
engineers sent out for that purpose, according to the ex- 
pressed wish of Mr. Stephenson before his death, as a per- 
fect structure, " completed satisfactorily according to the 
true spirit and meaning of the specification." 

Mr. Hodges, as the Agent and Chief Engineer for th< 
contractors, is entitled to unbounded praise for his untirin] 
energy, and the skill and management with which he s< 
successfully conducted this great and responsible under- 
taking, in which he was most ably assisted by the assistant 
engineers, C. Legge and G. Duncan. 

The position of Mr. Hodges was indeed a trying one. 
Entrusted with the carrying out of the most important en- 
gineering work at that period constructing in the world, 
with a deep responsibility of failure resting upon his shoul- 
ders, with the daily superintendence of the work of up- 

u *I have read and studied with pleasure the whole of the 
varied conditions of the river, from the commencement of the 
formation of the ice to its breaking up and clearing away in the 
Spring. To this memoir I am much indebted for a clear com- 
prehension of the formidable tumult that takes place at different 
times amongst the huge masses of ice on the surface of the 
river, and which must strike the eye as if irresistible forces 
were in operation, or such as, at all events, would put all cal- 
culations at defiance. — Stephenson's Letter to the Shareholders of 
the G, T, R. Co. 2d May, 1854. 


wards of 2000 men variously employed, whom he had to 
organize and discipline, to ensure a proper performance of 
their respective duties, and with a host of difficulties to en- 
counter, monetary, engineering, and incidental, all of more 
or less magnitude, he required a master mind of no ordinary 
capacity to -grapple with them, and an energy and persever- 
ance of no ordinary character. The best tribute we can pay 
this gentleman is by quoting the words of the Lord Bishop 
of Montreal, spoken at the dinner given by Mr. Hodges on 
the part of the contractors, to celebrate the completion of 
the great work which he constructed : 

a For the rest, I have only to say, that I am here to-day, not 
merely because I have taken a great interest in watching this 
gigantic work of which you have heard — in watching each 
pier in its erection, or in watching its multitudinous rivets 
which have connected the vast tubes together ; not merely 
because I wished to join you in celebrating its opening, but be- 
cause I wished to pay personal respect to Mr. Hodges, who, in 
after years, will be remembered with pride — remembered for his 
integrity, honesty, and ability, and the Christian principle with 
which he has endeavoured to provide for the education of the 
young and the spiritual supervision of all people connected with 
the works on which he was engaged." 

But to Mr. Stephenson, alone, is due the design of the 
Victoria Bridge, as we now see it, in all its details, symmetry, 
and strength : the last monument of his fame and genius ; 
which is likely to mock for ages the hydraulic force, and 
bid defiance to the glacial ramparts, of the great river over 
which it strides, until its materials mould away in the 
ocean of time, and its history is forgotten by future gene- 

Having, thus, fully gone into the merits and claims of 
those parties whose names were connected intimately with 
the scientific part of the work, we must not pass over the 
names of two gentlemen, the Hon. John Boss and the Hon. 

30 hunter's hand book of 

F. Hincks, whose exertions and political influence had mucl 
to do in carrying out our great line of national railway 
and obtaining that confidence of the English people in the 
good faith of Canada, which has caused them to invest so 
much of their surplus capital in our public undertakings, 
and which has been attended with such beneficial results 
in the development of the resources of this province. 

The grand scheme of a national railway, for a distance 
of 1200 miles, and passing through the richest parts of 
Canada, would still have been an imperfect undertaking, 
without some means of communication, at all seasons of the 
year, between the north and south shores of the St. Law- 
rence ; and the whole line of the Grand Trunk Railway 
would have been more of a provincial undertaking, without 
the bridge, which was the key required to open the inter- 
course of the whole province to the Atlantic seaboard. 

These important considerations bore with their full force 
upon the Directors of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, 
and the people of Canada felt the necessity of the under- 

They had now faith in the surveys and reports made as 
to the practicability of its construction. But the Directors 
of the Company, in order to gain the confidence of the 
English capitalists, and ascertain, beyond doubt, that a 
bridge could in safety be constructed, deemed it prudent, 
before commencing a work involving such an immense out- 
lay, to have the advice of the most eminent engineer they 
could counsel, and, accordingly, decided in 1852, to obtain 
the services of Mr. Stephenson. 

But before commencing a description of the bridge, and 
the difficulties to be overcome in its construction, we can- 
not refrain here from giving a long extract from a paper 
read by Sir W. E. Logan, Provincial Geologist, before the 
Royal Geological Society, London, the perusal of which will 



well repay the reader, as it so graphically illustrates the 
local phenomena which take place in winter opposite to this 
city, by which the vast mass of ice is set in motion by the 
whole hydraulic force of the river and thrown up into huge 
piles one above the other, fifty feet in height, presenting to 
the eye of the beholder, a power suflieient, apparently, to 
crush beneath its pressure any obstacle, and tear from its 
base masonry of the hugest proportions : 

" There is no place on the St. Lawrence where all the phe- 
nomena of the taking, packing, and shoving of the ice are so 
grandly displayed as in the neighbourhood of Montreal. The 
violence of the current is here so great, and the river in some 
places expands to such a width, that, whether we consider the 
prodigious extent of the masses moved or the force with which 
they are propelled, nothing can afford a more majestic spec- 
tacle or impress the mind more thoroughly with a sense of ir- 
resistible power. Standing for hours, together, upon the bank 
overlooking St. Mary's current, I have seen league after league 
of ice crushed and broken against the barrier lower down and 
there submerged and crammed beneath. And when we reflect 
that an operation similar to this occurs in several parts from 
Lake St. Peter upwards, it will not surprise us that the river 
should gradually swell. 

11 By the time the ice has become stationary at the foot of St. 
Mary's current, the waters of the St. Lawrence have usually 
risen several feet in the harbour of Montreal, and, as the space 
through which this current flows affords a deep and narrow 
passage for nearly the whole body of the river, it may well be 
imagined that when the packing here begins the inundation 
rapidly increases. The confined nature of this part of the 
channel affords a more ready resistance to the progress of the 
ice, while the violence of the current brings such an abundant 
supply and packs it with so much force, that the river, dammed 
up by the barrier which in many places reaches to the bottom, 
attains in the harbour a height usually twenty, and sometimes 
twenty-five feet, above its summer level ; and it is not uncom- 
mon, between this point and the foot of the current, within the 
distance of a mile, to see a, difference in elevation of several 

32 hunter's hand book of 

feet, which undergoes many rapid changes, the waters ebbing or 
flowing according to the amount of impediment they meet with 
in their progress from submerged ice. 

" It is at this period that the grandest movements of the ice 
occur. From the effect of packing and piling, and the accum- 
ulation of the snows of the season, the saturation of these with 
water, and the freezing of the whole into a solid body, it at- 
tains the thickness of ten to twenty feet and even more : and 
after it has become fixed as far as the eye can reach, a sudden 
rise in the water (occasioned, no doubt, in the manner mention- 
ed) lifting up a wide expanse of the whole covering of the river 
so high as to free and start it from the many points of rest and 
resistance offered by the bottom, where it had been packed 
deep enough to touch it, the vast mass is set in motion by the 
whole hydraulic power of this gigantic stream. Proceeding 
onward with a truly terrific majesty, it piles up over every ob- 
stacle it encounters ; and when forced into a narrow part of 
the channel, the lateral pressure it there exerts drives the bor- 
dage up the banks, where it sometimes accumulates to the 
height of forty or fifty feet. In front of the town of Montreal, 
there has lately been built a magnificent revetment wall of 
cut limestone, to the height of twenty-three feet above the sum- 
mer level of the river. This wall is now a great protection 
against the effects of the ice. Broken by it, the ice piles on the 
street or terrace surmounting it and there stops ; but before the 
wall was built, the sloping bank guided the moving mass up to 
the walls of gardens and houses in a very dangerous manner, and 
many accidents used to occur. It has been known to pile up 
against the side of a house, distant more than 200 feet from the 
margin of the river, and there break in at the windows of the 
second floor. I have seen it mount a terrace garden twenty 
feet above the bank, and crossing the garden enter one of the 
principal streets of the town. A few years before the erection 
of the revetment wall, a friend of mine, tempted by the com- 
mercial advantages of the position, ventured to build a large 
cut stone warehouse. The ground floor was not more than 
eight feet above the summer level of the river. At the taking 
of the ice, the usual rise of the water of course inundated the 
lower story, and the whole building becoming surrounded by a 
frozen sheet, a general expectation was entertained that it would 


be prostrated by the first movement. But the proprietor had 
taken a very simple and effectual precaution to prevent this. 
Just before the rise of the waters, he securely laid against the 
sides of the building, at an angle of less than 45 ° , a num- 
ber of stout oak logs a few feet asunder. When the movement 
came, the sheet of ice was broken, and pushed up the wooden 
inclined plane thus formed ; at the top of which, meeting the 
wall of the building, it was reflected into a vertical position, 
and, falling back in this manner, such an enormous rampart of 
■ice was in a few minutes placed in front of the warehouse as com- 
pletely shielded it from all possible danger. In some years, the 
ice has piled up nearly as high as the roof of this building. 
Another gentleman, encouraged by the security which this 
warehouse apparently enjoyed, erected one of great strength 
and equal magnitude on the next water-lot, but he omitted to 
protect it in the same way. The result might have been antici- 
pated. A movement of the ice occurring, the great sheet 
struck the walls at right angles and pushed over the building 
as if it had been a house of cards. Both positions are now se- 
cured by the revetment wall. 11 

Mr. Stephenson, upon being appointed the Company's 
^Engineer, considered the subject of such importance, that 
he went to Canada, for the purpose of dealing with it, in 
1853, and, after examining the facts, made a public decla- 
ration of his opinion that a bridge was practicable. On 
the 2nd May, 1854, Mr. Stephenson wrote to the Grand 
Trunk Railway Directors, in which he considered the 
whole question in three branches — 

1st. As to the description of bridge best adapted for the 

2d. The selection of a proper site. 

3d. The necessity for such a structure. 

Upon the first point he did not hesitate to adopt 
a tubular bridge, as the best description fitted for a perma- 
nent, safe, and substantial structure in such a situation. 

On the 2nd point he was not a little influenced by con- 
siderations affecting the flow of the river, and those almost 


34 hunter's hand book of 

u irresistible forces " consequent upon the breaking up of 
the ice. Writing on this subject, he says : — 

" The origin of these powers is simply the gravity of the 
mass occupying the surface of the water with a given declivity 
up to a point where the river is again clear of ice, which, in 
this case, is at the Lachine Falls. This is unquestionably the 
maximum amount of force that can come into play ; but its 
effect is evidently greatly reduced — partly by the ice attaching 
itself to the shores, and, partly by its grounding upon the bed of 
the river. Such modifications of the forces are clearly beyond 
the reach of calculation, as no correct data can be obtained for 
their estimation ; but if we proceed by omitting all consideration 
of those circumstances which tend to reduce the greatest force 
that can be exerted, a sufficiently safe result is arrived at. 

H In thus treating the subject of the forces that may be occa- 
sionally applied to the piers of the proposed bridge, I am fully 
alive to the many other circumstances which may occasionally 
combine in such a manner, as, apparently, to produce severe and 
extraordinary pressure at points on the mass of ice or upon the 
shore, and, consequently, upon the individual piers of a bridge. 
Many inquiries were made respecting this particular view, but^ 
no facts were elicited indicative of forces existing at all ap- 
proaching to that which I have regarded as the source and the 
maximum of the pressure that can at any time come into operation 
affecting the bridge. 

" I do not think it necessary to go into detail respecting the pre- 
cise form and construction of the piers, and shall merely state, 
that, in forming the design, care has been taken to bear in mind 
the expedients which have hitherto been used and found success- 
ful in protecting bridges exposed to the severe tests of a 
Canadian winter, and the breaking up of the ice of frozen 

On the 3rd point, Mr. Stephenson proceeds to say : — 

"I now come to the last point, viz., the necessity of this large 
and costly bridge. 

"Before entering on the expenditure of £1,400,000 upon one 
work in any system of Railways, it is of course necessary to con- 
sider the bearing which it has upon the entire undertaking if 



carried out, and also the effect which its postponement is likely 

to produce. 

" These questions appear to me to be very simple and free from 

any difficulty. 

"An extensive series of railways in Canada, on the north side 
of the St. Lawrence, is developing itself rapidly ; part of it is 
already in operation, a large portion fast progressing, and other 
lines in contemplation, the commencement of which must speed- 
ily take place. 

* The commerce of this extensive and productive country has 
scarcely any outlet at present, but through the St. Lawrence, 
which is sealed up during six months of the year, and therefore 
very imperfectly answers the purposes of a great commercial tho- 

" Experience, both in this and other countries where railways 
have come into rivalry with the best navigable rivers, has 
demonstrated, beyond the possibility of question, that this new 
description of locomotion is capable of superseding water car- 
riage, wherever economy and despatch are required ; and even 
where the latter is of little importance, the capabilities of a rail- 
way, properly managed, may still be made available, simply for 

" The great object, however, of the Canadian system of rail- 
ways is not to compete with the river St. Lawrence, which will 
continue to accommodate a certain portion of the traffic of the 
country, but to bring those rich provinces into direct and easy 
connexion with all the ports on the East coast of the Atlantic, 
from Halifax to Boston, and even New York, and consequently, 
through these ports, nearer to Europe. 

11 If the line of Railway communication be permitted to remain 
severed by the St. Lawrence, it is obvious that the benefits which 
the system is calculated to confer upon Canada must remain in a 
great extent nugatory, and of a local character. 

" The province will be comparatively insulated, and cut off 
from that coast to which her commerce naturally tends ; the 
traffic from the West must either continue to adopt the water 
communication, or, what is more probable, — nay, I should say, 
certain, — it would cross into the United States by those lines 
nearly completed to Buffalo, crossing the river near Niagara. 
11 No one who has visited the country, and made himself ac- 

3G hunter's hand book of 

quainted,*only partially, with the tendencies of the trade whic 
is growing up on all sides in Upper Canada, can fail to per 
ceive,'that, if vigorous steps be not taken to render thej Hail 
way communication with the Eastern coast through Lower 
Canada uninterrupted, the whole of the produce of Uppe 
Canada will find its wayjto the coast through other channels, 
and the system of lines now comprised in your undertaking will 
be deprived of that traffic upon which you have very reasonably 

J^"In short, I cannot conceive anything so fatal to the satis- 
tisfactory development of your Railway as the postponement 
of the bridge across the river at Montreal. The line cannot, 
in my opinion, fulfil its object of being the high road for Can- 
adian produce, until this work is completed ; and looking at the 
enormous extent of rich and prosperous country which your 
system intersects, and at the amount of capital which has been 
already, or is in the progress or prospect of being expended, 
there is in my mind no room for question as to the expediency, 
indeed, the absolute necessity of the completion of this bridge, 
upon which, I am persuaded, the successful issue of your great 
undertaking mainly depends." 

Mr. Stephenson's design for the Victoria Bridge was 
severely criticized at the time by some very eminent English 
Engineers, particularly as being more expensive than the 
" Trellis. Girder," or than the " Single Triangular Girder/ 
recently called " Warren" from a patent obtained for it by a 
gentleman of that name ; but Mr. Stephenson so clearly 
demonstrated his own views to the G. T. R. Directors, and 
so logically and forcibly discussed the whole question in a 
Reportj-which is a perfect model of scientific reasoning from 
the pureness, simplicity, and clearness with which he places 
his arguments and opinions side by side with those of his 
critics, — that the Directors, unhesitatingly, decided upon 
adopting the bridge according to the design and estimate 
submitted to them. 

In 1854 the work was commenced by the contractors, 
Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts, under the sole superin- 


tendence of Mr. James Hodges, the Engineer who acted 
on the part of the contractors ; and, although the contract- 
ors were impeded in their progress, in consequence of the 
monetary crisis, which affected their own and the affairs of 
the country generally, the bridge was completed, and ac- 
cepted from off the contractors' hands, on the 17th De- 
cember 1859, being within one year of the time specified. 

Before proceeding to give the reader a description of the 
Victoria Bridge, it may not be uninteresting to furnish a 
short account of its great rival the Britannia Bridge (so 
called from the rock on which its centre pier is raised), and 
which, although not near so long as the Victoria, still is pre- 
eminent among bridges for the lofty height of its towers, 
and for the length and dimensions of its tubes, which are the 
largest of any yet constructed upon the tubular principle. 

The Conway Bridge, constructed over the Conway river 
in Wales, was the first tubular bridge ever constructed. 
It has only one span, 400 feet in length, and was the joint 
production of Robert Stephenson and William Fairbairn. 
This bridge was in itself an instance of " triumphant suc- 
cess in design and execution." It was followed, imme- 
diately after, by the Britannia Bridge over the Menai 
Straits, in the middle of which a rock rises from the bed of 
the sea, upon which a tower of masonry is erected 200 feet 
in height. At the clear distance of 460 feet, another tower 
is built on either side of it ; and, at the distance of 230 feet 
from each of these towers, a continuous abutment of masonry, 
176 feet in length, is erected, which constitute the two 
ends of the bridge. The Britannia tower, in the centre of 
the Straits, is 62X52.5 ft. at the base, and reduced, by 
batter, to 52X45.5 ft. at the height of 102 feet above 
the high-water line, at which level the tubes pass 
through it ; and the elevation of the whole tower above high- 
water level is the lofty height of 200 feet, or nearly 

33 hunter's hand book of 

230 feet from the bottom of the foundation on the rock. 
The stones used, as in the Victoria Bridge, are of great 
size: some of them weigh from 10 to 14 tons. The cu- 
bical contents of this single tower, if solid, would exceed 
575,000 cubic feet, but, as it is constructed with hollow 
spaces or chambers within it, the quantity of stone actually 
used in its construction is 293,150 cubic feet. The total 
weight of the masonry is 200,000 tons, and about 387 tons 
of cast-iron in beams and girders are built in it. 

The abutments of this bridge terminate with projecting 
pedestals, on which four couchant lions, in the Egyptian 
style and of colossal dimensions, face the approaching visi- 
tors, and seem to guard the entrance to the iron wonder be- 
hind. Each of these lions measures 25 feet in length and 
12 feet in height, weighing about 30 tons, — noble specimens 
of sculpture. 

There were four spaces in the Britannia Bridge to be 
covered by the iron tubes, two of 460 feet and two of 230 ; 
and, as each tube serves for only one line of rails,8 tubes were I 
required. The four largest being over the deep water, they 
were constructed on the shore on timber platforms, and 
conveyed in flat-bottomed vessels, or pontoons, to the 
towers, and were raised to their required elevation, of 102 
feet above the high- water level, by hydraulic presses ; and, 
by this arrangement, all scaffolding across the Straits was 
avoided, and only one half of the channel interrupted at a 

When the work was completed, the four separate tubes 
were united together, so that each tube is of the length of 
1513 feet, or about £th of a mile ; and to form this connec- 
tion, short tubes were constructed within the towers to 
effect their ultimate union. 

But the part in the design of this stupendous bridge, 
which evinced the boldness and confidence of its Engineer 


in his own powers, was the raising of a weight of 1800 tons 
through an elevation of 102 feet, over a rapid tide rushing 
through the Straits, and utterly without scaffolding of any 
kind over the opening, between the towers, 460 feet in 

The power applied for this Herculean purpose was those 
machines known as " Hydraulic" or "Hydrostatic Presses," 
a description of which it is unnecessary to give in these 

As the tube steadily and slowly ascended under the 
powerful pressure applied, the space underneath was care- 
fully built up with brick work and cement. Mr. Stephenson 
had followed up the tube, inch by inch, as it ascended, with 
packings of wood 1 inch thick, until there was sufficient 
room to replace the packings with bricks ; and if this wise 
precaution had not been adopted, an accident of a very serious 
nature would have occurred, owing to the bursting out of the 
bottom of the cylinder of the hydraulic press, weighing 
j about 4 J tons, which, being entirely separated from the rest 
of the casting, fell, with terrific force, on the top of the tube 
below, a depth of from 70 to 80 feet. The tube would 
have fallen, in consequence, through a space of 3 feet 6 inches 
on the brickwork below, but was arrested by the packings 
of wood so wisely adopted. As it was, the total falling was 
only about one inch, and, although it only fell through that 
short space, it broke down iron beams sufficient to bear 
500 tons weight. 

Let us now draw a comparison between the dimensions 
of these rival bridges ; by which it will be seen, that, how- 
ever . gigantic are the towers that uphold the ponderous 
tubes of the Britannia Bridge, as a work of magnitude and 
art it is far surpassed by the Victoria in the difficulties 
to be encountered in its erection, and in its general pro- 

40 hunter's hand rook of 

Brit. Bridge.Vict. Bridge. 
Ft. in. Ft. 

Length between the abutments 1,513 G,600 

Total length including approaches 1,841.6 9,084 

Number of piers 2 24 

Greatest distance between piers 460 330 

Height of Centre Tower (or pier) over 

high water 102 60 

Total height of tower 200 60 

Cubical contents of masonry in whole 

structure 1,300,000 3,000,000 

Total weight of iron in single line of Tons. Tons. 

tubes 4,825* 8,000 

Number of rivets in do do 1,000,000 2,000,000 

Cost of Work $6,300,000 

Time occupied in completion.. 5| years 

We will now proceed with a general description of the 
Victoria Bridge. 

The Victoria Bridge is that known as the tubular or 
beam bridge, and consists of a series of iron tubes rest- 
ing on 24 stone piers, with a distance between each pier 
of 242 feet, except the centre opening, which is 330 feet 
in length. Its total length between the abutments is 6,600 
feet, or a mile and a quarter. The bridge is approached by 
two massive embankments, the one on the Montreal side 
being 1,200 feet, and that on the south shore 800 feet in 
length ; which together, including the abutments, make the 
total length of the bridge 9,084 feet, or a mile and three 
quarters nearly. 

Laying off the Work. 

The first step taken, after the surveys were fully com- 
pleted, and the line over which the bridge was to pass de- 
cided upon, was to lay off the line of the abutments and piers. 

This work the Engineers were able to do, whilst the ice 
was on the river, with the most minute correctness. Then 


the centre of the foundation of each pier was marked, which 
was thus performed. " Guides " were framed, so that long 
iron rods could be lifted and let fall on one spot, technical- 
ly called by masons "jumped," until a hole was drilled 
into the rock, in the bed of the river, into which a bolt 
was driven and a float attached. By these means the precise 
centre of each pier was established to within a few inches. 


The first step to be taken before the foundation of the 
piers, or abutments, could be laid, was the formation of 
coffer-dams, which, for such a structure and in such a river 
as the St. Lawrence, required to be of no ordinary magni- 
tude and cost. 

Two kinds of dams are said to have been used, each pos- 
sessing over the other certain advantages. Those called 
floating-dams were framed, and consisted of two parts. One 
part had three sides of a rectangular form, the sides being 
^longer than the ends, but the upper end was formed of two 
pieces meeting in an angle up stream, in order to turn off 
the current. They were carefully and strongly built, and 
caulked ; and were then towed into position by a powerful 
steamboat, and their precise places determined by a transit 
from the shore. On a given signal the sluice-gate was 
opened, and the dam sunk into its required place. The 
area within the dam was of course still water, and within 
its sides was constructed another dam ; on the comple- 
tion of which, the water was pumped out. 

The other form of dam was of the ordinary cribbing of 
the country, and, owing to the rapidity of the stream, un- 
usual care had to be observed in its construction. 

A dam of this form, consisted of a double row of crib- 
bing, each 14 feet wide, and with seven to eight feet of 

puddle ; and between them, and the part turned up stream, 



hunter's hand book of 

was a regularly built ice-breaker to withstand the ice o\ 
the winters if necessary. The comparison between the r< 
spective merits of these two classes of dams may thus be made. 
The floating dam could be used several times, an< 
was found to answer best in deep water • but its great 
disadvantage was, that the masonry of the pier had 
to be completed within the working season, as it could not 
be made sufficiently strong to resist the pressure of the 
ice in winter, hence, it had to be removed ; also, when the 
period arrived to construct the tube, the side of the pier 
was naked, and there was no point whence to start the 
scaffolding to support the tube-truss. 

With the coffer-dam this foundation for the scaffolding 
existed, and, hence, it was only necessary to frame one 
centre scaffold ; whereas, with the floating-dams, three such 
constructions were necessary, viz., the centre, the frame, and 
the scaffold foundation at the side of each pier. Nor was this 
consideration an unimportant one, for such foundation had 
to be obtained by sinking scows and driving piles around 
them to keep them in position. 

From either dam the framing was carried up above the 
height of the pier, and on the capping piece, or sill, was 
run a railway to admit of the passage of a travelling ma- 
chine, which, mounted with a crab, admitted a contrary 
passage on itself. Hence stones of 17 tons were moved 
into position with the greatest facility. On the platform 
of the dam were erected sheds to cover the steam-engine, 
the blacksmiths' and carpenters' shops and storeroom. 

The foundation of the piers seldom exceeded 22X90 ft., 
whereas the area required for the dams was 120 X 210 ft. to 
allow a large margin in case of its not sinking in the exact 

Nothing could be better than the pumps used by Mr. 
Chaffey, the contractor for masonry on the south side of the] 


river. They were worked centrifugally, and threw 800 
gallons a minute. It was calculated that his pumps low- 
ered the area of water in the dam at the rate of two feet 
per hour, and emptied a dam in eight or ten hours. 

When the dams were perfected and emptied of water, 
the staging constructed, the travelling machine in opera- 
tion, stone delivered and cut ready to be laid on its bed, 
the next process was that of cleaning out the bed of the 
river for the foundation. 

Bed of the River. 

It was the general impression that the bed of the river 
was rock, of that kind termed " trap," but in the 
progress of the work it was found that it was formed 
of large boulders heaped together in masses, the 
interstices being filled up with gravel, sand, and mud, in 
many instances forming a hard concrete mass, and in others 
the reverse, beds of quicksand and mud being as frequent as 
^any other. Three thousand tons of such material had to 
be cleared out of the foundation of No. 5 pier. One of 
the boulders taken out weighed 30 tons, and masses of 
three and four tons were strewed thickly over the surface. 

The depth, therefore, to be excavated, before reaching 
rock, greatly increased the cost to the contractors of the 
masonry in the piers. 

We should observe, that in the southern half of the 
bridge (for it was commenced at both ends at once) the 
scaffolding was not used, but a compound derrick, the in- 
vention of Mr. Chaffey, worked by a high-pressure engine, 
supplied its place. Much ingenuity was shown in obtain- 
in^ this motion, as the stone could be placed by it in any 
position, for the derrick had a motion which admitted of 
precisely placing the stone in position. It was capable 
of handling stones eleven tons in weight. 


44 hunter's hand book <>1 

The Approaches and Abutments. 

The bridge is approached from the north shore by an em 
bankment 1,200 feet, and another from the south shore 
800 feet in length, and the waters, thus embayed, now find 
their way through the piers of the bridge, by which the 
velocity of the current has been much increased. 

The abutments are each, at the base, 278 feet long, and 
are built hollow, having eight openings or cells 48 feet in 
length and 24 feet in width, separated by cross-walls 
5 feet in thickness. The flank-wall on the down-stream 
side rises nearly perpendicular, and is seven feet in thick- 
ness; that on the up-stream has a slope from its 
foundation upwards, the thickness of the walls is 
12 feet, and they present a smooth surface to facilitate the 
operation of the ice, on which account its form had been 
thus determined. To ensure greater resistance to the 
pressure of the ice, the cells are filled up with earth, stone, 
and gravel, so that one solid mass was thus obtained. 

The embankments are solid, composed of stone 36 feet 
above the summer water level, and of the width of 30 feet 
on the upper surface, formed with a slope of one to one on 
the down side of the stream, and a hollow shelving slope 
of about 2^ to one on the upper side. The slopes are 
faced with stones set on edge at an average angle of 45°. 


The piers are solid, and constructed, as well as the abut- 
ments, of the finest description of ashlar masonry, laid in 
horizontal courses measuring from 7 to 12 feet on the bed, 
and from 3 ft. 10 in. to 2 ft. 6 in. thick, above the water 
level, and thence varying into a course of 18 in. under 
the plates. The stones were cut with the greatest exact- 
ness, seldom requiring to be re-dressed after being laid. 


They weigh from 7 to 17 tons; the average weight of 
each stone is 10J tons. All the beds and vertical joints 
are square, dressed in the most efficient and workmanlike 
manner; the external face rough, and without any pick or 
tool marks, but with the natural quarry face preserved. 

The string-courses and copings are fair-picked, dressed 
throughout, and neatly pointed and weathered, and a tool- 
draft, eight inches wide, on each quoin. Each course of 
the ice-breaker is secured with fox- wedged bolts of 1J inch 
iron, which pass through into the 2nd and 3rd courses 
under it ; and the horizontal joints are cramped together 
with iron cramps 12x5 inches, through which the bolts 

The description of stone used is a limestone of the 
Lower Silurian order, and known under the Geological 
term of Chazy. The average height of the piers above the 
summer water level is 48 feet, gradually rising from a 
height of 36 feet at the abutments to 60 feet at the centre 
pier, giving a grade of 1 in 132, or 40 feet to the mile. 
The centre span is level. Each pier is furnished with a 
solid cut-water, or ice-breaker, which forms a portion of the 
pier itself. They are of a wedge form, and slope from their 
foundations upwards, terminating in an angle 30 feet above 
the summer level of the river. Their use, and the protec- 
tion they afford, have already been alluded to in Mr. Ste- 
phenson's Report. The dimensions of a pier at the junc- 
tion, with the cut-water, are 16 x 48 ft., but the whole trans- 
verse side of a pier at the foundation, including the cut- 
water, which extends up the stream, is 16 m 90 feet. 

The foundations, of course, vary ; some are as low down 
as 20 feet below the water. 

The whole of the ashlar is laid in hydraulic cement, 
in the proportion of 1 part sand to 1 part cement. The 


hunter's hand book op 

backing, from the level of the surface water upwards, is 
in common mortar. 

The following is a section of a pier and tube : — 

c. The roof. 

b. The rollers. 

Although it is difficult to particularize one individual 
more than another, when all did their work so well, yet the 
name of Mr. Chaffey, the sole contractor for the mason's 
work for the southern half of the bridge, deserves especial 
mention. Few people can realize how much of labour and 
mental anxiety is saved to an engineer who has to deal with 
an honourable, energetic, and talented contractor, and all 
this was combined in Mr. Chaffey. 

Our space will not allow us to enter into an account of the 
ingenious expedients he adopted for the saving of labour ; 
and we regret, for the same reason, that we cannot enter 
into a description of his Derrick and Steam Traveller, a 


model of which we hope some day to see in the Exhibition 
Building, in this city, of the L. C. Board of Arts and 
Manufactures. For beautiful mechanical contrivance, 
simplicity, and capability of power, his compound Derrick 
is foremost among lifting-machines. 

The best tribute, as a man, we can pay to Mr. Chaffey, 
is to say, that of him all men speak well. 


The plates of the tubes are of various dimensions and 
thicknesses. Those forming the sides are reduced in 
thickness from the ends towards the middle, varying from 
T 4 e *° \i °f an i ncn - The joints are strengthened with 
Tee irons. The kelsons are placed transversely across 
the bottom of the inside of the tubes, and are 10 
inches in depth. They are spaced 7 feet apart and are 
secured to the Tee bars by gussets, and support the pine 
longitudinals, or stringers, which carry the rails. The 
longitudinals are about 12x12 inches in section, and are 
kept in place by wrought iron flanges which are bolted to 
the kelsons. This arrangement allows the tubes to contract 
and expand without disturbing the pine longitudinals and 
the rails which rest upon them. They move freely between 
the flanges which form their lateral support. 

The plates are all butt-jointed, having a covering plate 
over the joints on the outside, which is firmly ri vetted 
through to the Tee iron on the inside of the tube ; and 
covering plates, both inside and out, are placed over all 
the horizontal joints. 

The centre tube, being so much longer than the others, 
has an additional thickness in the plates, and longitudinal 
kelsons are rivetted to the top in place of the Tee bars 
used in the small tubes. The Tee bars and gussets are 
are also considerably larger. 

This tube is connected, at one end, to one of the large 

48 hunter's hand book of 

piers ; the other end is left free, resting upon the iron 

The iron brackets protecting the exposed surface of the 
top of the two large piers are partly glazed, and at the 
sides of the brackets are iron blinds, through which a 
splendid view of the massive masonry of the piers and 
ice-breakers can be obtained ; but on account of the 
great risk that strangers, particularly women, would be 
exposed to in the narrow tube during the passing of a 
train, the authorities very properly refuse admission to the 

Between the bottom of the tube and the stone work of 
the pier, is introduced creosoted tamarac covered with as- 
phaltic felt. The object of this is to give elasticity between 
the iron work and the stone. 

On one side of the interior of the bridge is a planked 
footpath 3 feet in width, resting on the kelsons. It is only 
intended for the use of the employes in charge of 
the bridge. There is no footway for passengers on the 
outside of the bridge. 

The greatest difference caused by expansion in the length 
of a tube of 260 feet, registered between the greatest 
extremes of temperature, is under three inches. At one 
end of the bridge is placed an indicator for registering 
the daily contraction and expansion of a tube. The tele- 
graph wires pass underneath the tubes. 

The deflection of a single tube, under the severest test 
that could be brought to bear upon it, was | of an inch : 
that of the largest tube was 1 J inches. Upon the load 
being removed, the tubes returned immediately to their 
original level. 

The following was the method adopted for putting the 
tubes together : 

After the staging or scaffolding was completed, upon 



which a tube was to be built, blockings, supporting cross 
ties, were placed at intervals of about four feet for the 
whole length of a tube, and were raised sufficiently above 
the floor of the scaffolding to admit of the rivetters working 
between this floor and the bottom of the tube; at the 
same time, the requisite camber of the tube was carefully 
preserved, to allow of its settling down to a level when the 
scaffolding was removed. The centre line of the tube was 
then carefully struck on the cross ties which were placed 
to support the bottom plates. The plating was then 
commenced, either at the "bearing" or "roller" end, as 
the case might be. As the plates were all ready marked, 
punched, and numbered, each plate having its own parti- 
cular place assigned for it in the tube, it was but a simple 
process to place them in position, which was thus per- 
formed : — h 



1st. The " bottom strips," a on plan, which join the 
plates making up the width of the tube, were laid down ; 
then the " bottom plates," d\ next the " cover plates," c ; the 
packings, b ; the angle irons, e \ the cross kelsons, /; and the 
tee irons,i. As the plating proceeded, the rivetters followed up 
their work here and there with rivets, to keep the pieces toge- 

50 hunter's hand book of 

ther ; and when the bottom was completed, the side plates, 
which were riveted into large sheets on shore, were com- 
menced at the centre of the tube and proceeded with to- 
wards the ends. As fast as these large sheets, h, were placed 
together, the bottom " gussetts," g, which join the sides 
with the kelsons, were bolted in, and the top kelsons 
raised to position. 

The laying of the top plates of the tube was but a repe- 
tition of the mode adopted for the bottom ones. Particular 
care, however, had to be taken in watching the camber of 
the tube as its weight increased, and wedges were provided 
under the blocking to raise it up, if required. 

We mentioned that the tubes of the Britannia Bridge, 
after being placed in position, were connected with short 
tubes built in the towers so as to form one continuous length 
from shore to shore. In the Victoria Bridge a different 
arrangement was necessary on account of its grade, 
and the greater expansion and contraction of iron during 
the sudden extremes of temperature in this variable climate. 
The tubes of the Victoria Bridge are only connected in 
pairs. They cover two openings of 516 feet in length, includ- 
ing bearings, and contract and expand on iron rollers. They 
are 16x19 ft. at the ends of the Bridge, but they increase 
in depth towards its centre, at which point they are 1 6 x 22ft. 

The weight of two united tubes, with rails, &c, is about 
514 tons, or 257 tons for each opening. 

The construction of this character of work is now so well 
known that much allusion to it is not necessary. Moreover, it 
is simple in the extreme,being formed of boiler plate ri vetted 
together with angle irons and lateral and transverse braces, 
as shewn in foregoing illustration. The skill lies in reducing 
this boiler iron to such dimensions that there is no un- 
necessary material to add to the weight and to 
the expense, and yet obtaining a sufficiency of strength. 




Accordingly, where the sides of the tube require strength, 
is at the abutment. Thus it will be seen that for the top 
and bottom of the tube the greater strength is at the 
centre, whereas the sides have most material where the 
span starts. 

Thus, taking our data in all cases from the centre, the 
following shows the component parts of the tube : — 


Sectional Area. 



L'ngth of 


Tee and 


Thickness of 







/ // 




92 r6 






86 ft 






86 ft 














84j 6 
















































3. 5 i 

8 T6 






11 tt 

r— i 




57. 75 


a a 







h. ± 

16 16 







4 3 

1"6 16 J 













1 6 






1 6 








52 hunter's hand book of 


Beginning at the centre, and strengthened by lateral irons 
inside and out, placed at distances of 3/ 6", — 

The first space, 35 feet from centre is formed of \ inch plate. 

The second space of 45^ feet " " -fg- 

The third " 35 " " " -ft- 

The remaining space " " u fa 

CI u 

<< it 

The immediate part of the tube resting on the pier 
is likewise strengthened by increased lateral bracing. 

At the line of neutral axis a few small circular holes are 
perforated in the side of the tube to throw light into the 

Over the top of the bridge is constructed a light roof of 
wood, on the ridge of which is a foot-walk 26 inches wide ; 
and a track is also provided for the painting travellers. 
The roof is covered with tin ; and the frame and tin work 
are so arranged as not to be injured by the expansion or the 
contraction of the tubes. 

The sides of that portion of the top of the piers on 
which the tubes do not rest, are covered with iron brack- 
ets, which protect the masonry of the pier, and also pre- 
vent snow from blowing in through the space left for the 
expansion of the tubes. 

The tubes themselves were constructed in position, and 
the difficult and expensive process of floating them from 
the shore and lifting them by hydraulic pressure was thus 
dispensed with. Where the coffer-dams were in use, the 
framing was carried up from them ; and in the centre, a scow 
was anchored and piles driven in around it, on which the 
scaffolding rested. It was here that the difference between 
the two systems of dams was apparent. In the one three 
scows secured with piles was necessary ; in the other, but 
one. On these supports a truss was formed on which the, 
tube was- put together. 



The following wood-cut shows the description of truss 
used for this purpose : 

The Expansion Rollers are seven in number in each set, 
of 6 in. diameter, in a cast-iron frame, rolling on planed 
bed-plates. The rollers themselves being turned and the beds 
plated, they run as smoothly as on glass. 


The rivets are an inch in diameter, and are arranged in 
rows. They were heated in portable furnaces, which were 
moved from place to place as the work proceeded. From 
these forges the rivets were taken up with tongs by one of 
the boys attending and thrown to the rivetters on the stage 
above ; and it was extraordinary to remark with what dex- 
terity and precision these lads would throw the rivets and 
make them curve over the stage and fall to right or to left on 
any spot they desired. The rivets were then placed in the 

54 hunter's hand book of 

holes punched for them, and the ends firmly clenched with 
heavy hammers before cooling. 

The rivet head, thus formed, is in a rough shape, and is 
finished by placing a steel cup-shaped tool upon it, which, 
being struck with a heavy hammer, the head of the rivet 
becomes formed perfectly smooth and convex in the steel 
mould. The contraction of the length of the rivet, in 
cooling, draws the plates close together with considerable 

It required no small amount of nerve for the inquisitive 
visitor to pass through the fiery ordeal. As he gradually 
approached through the dark tube, the hollow sounds 
of the heavy hammer on the iron plates reverberated 
from side to side with a thousand echoes on the ear ; but 
when he arrived at the actual scene of work, it would be 
difficult to describe the feelings of the looker on. The 
strokes of the hammers no longer had a deep sonorous 
sound, but fell with a hard and clanging ring upon the 
ear that threatened to rupture its tympanum — the darkness 
of the place — the dim glare of the smoky furnaces — the 
fiery darts shooting around, and the dark and shadowy objects 
flitting here and there, like spirits of another world, altoge- 
ther had such a bewildering effect upon the senses, that the 
classical reader, for a moment, might fancy himself in the 
reigons of old Vulcan, surrounded by his Cyclops forging 
the thunderbolts of Jupiter. 

In the fall of 1859, the last tube of this wondrous 
work was completed ; and on the 17th December of the same 
year, Mr. J. Bruce and Mr. P. Stockman, Civil Engineers, 
who were sent out from England, at the desire of Mr. 
Stephenson before his death, to test the strength of the tubes 
and to examine the work, made their formal report ; part 
of which will be found in the appendix. 

The reader, as he has stood on the banks of the St. 


Lawrence, and admired the noble Bridge which crosses 
over the immense volume of water flowing onwards to the 
ocean, and wondered at the talent and genius of the men 
who conceived, designed, and carried out so stupendous a 
work, when so many difficulties had to be encountered, 
will probably think for what great purpose has so immense a 
sum of money been expended in its construction. Was it 
the ambition, pride, or folly of the Colony to eclipse the 
whole world in this Titanic structure? or did it 
emanate from the wisdom of its people, who considered 
its construction absolutely necessary for the completion of 
some great national and commercial policy ? 

There are some nations, who, though blessed with a 
soil of the greatest fertility, with a climate of the most ge- 
nial description, and with resources, which, if developed, 
would render them the richest, happiest, and most power- 
ful of people, yet, from their natural supineness and con- 
stitutional indolence, have no desire to cultivate and im- 
prove the rich gifts so bounteously bestowed upon them by 
nature, nor the energy to become great and powerful. 

How different is the character of the Anglo-Saxon and 
French races ! No matter in what part of the world they fix 
their abode, or what difficulties they have to encounter, 
their progress is ever marked by rapid civilization, pros- 
perity, and wealth. Success seems to follow in their footsteps. 
In all the British Colonies which now or once belonged 
to the English realm, may be seen the striking contrast 
between the Anglo-Saxon and other nations of the earth ; 
and the same remark may be now applied to the people of 

From the date that Jacques C artier first landed on the 
shores of Canada in 1554, up to 1760, there was a period 
of almost incessant warfare between the brave French 
settlers and the aborigines of the country ; the latter fre- 

56 hunter's hand book of 

quently assisted by British troops. During the period of 
these early struggles, little progress could be made either in 
civilization or agricultural improvements : it was as much as 
the hardy French adventurers could accomplish to hold 
their ground against a fierce, savage, and implacable foe. 
But a century and a half by-gone, in this same city, now 
so flourishing and adorned with costly edifices, and whose 
streets, in a few short weeks, will be thronged with thousands 
of strangers assembled from different parts of this Conti- 
nent to witness the celebration and the inauguration of the 
greatest engineering work in the world, by the heir of Bri- 
tain's Throne ; yes, reader, in this city — now so fair and 
happy, but then consisting of but a few straggling houses 
surrounded by a rude fortification — did 1200 warriors of 
the Iroquois tribe make a sudden descent, and 1000 of 
the brave French settlers fell under the tomahawk and the 
scalping-knife of the ruthless savage. Mother and infant 
met with no mercy from the fiend-like foe, who savagely 
killed, burnt, destroyed, and laid waste all around, carrying 
off twenty-six of their captives to meet a still more horri- 
ble death by torture at the stake. 

Nor did the horrors of war cease with the ceding of this 
Colony to the British Crown. In 1775 commenced the 
struggle of the American Colonies for their freedom ; and 
from that date until 1814, the blood of many a brave 
Canadian stained the soil in loyally fighting for the Crown 
of England. 

But though peace had at last found a resting-place on 
the soil of Canada, yet years passed away before any re- 
action took place after so long and desolating a war ; and 
even thirty years ago, Montreal was thus characterized by 
an American writer : — 

" The approach to Montreal conveyed no prepossessing idea of 
the enterprise of its municipality. Ships, barges, and steamboats 


lay on the margin of the river, at the foot of the hill. No line of 
wharves built of substantial limestone, of which there is abun- 
dance in the neighbourhood, afforded security to vessels and own- 
ers. The commercial haven looked as ragged and muddy as the 
shores of New Nederland when the Guedevrow first made her 
appearance off the Battery." 

Nor was the progress of other Canadian cities at all remark- 
able ; as a well-known writer in this city has thus described 
the state of Canada a few years back : — 

" Then no great chain of railway linked town to town and 
city to city, almost annihilating distance. Then the journey to To- 
ronto was a toilsome matter of weeks ; and that to Brockville, 
short even as is the distance, occupied, with heavy cumbrous 
batteauxy three weeks. Now how changed ! The wand of some 
fairy king has surely been here. But no 1 Industry, intelligence, 
labour, capital, all combined, and working for the advancement 
of this rising Colony, have produced the marvellous changes 
which meet us on every hand." 

To the effect of the onward movement of immigration 
* of a hardy, enterprising, and persevering race, the infusion 
of new blood, and the changes brought about in the admin- 
istration of the affairs of the Province, may mainly be at- 
tributed the unprecedented prosperity of Canada in so 
short a period, far exceeding that ever recorded in the an- 
nals of the history of any country. Montreal in 1843 
contained about 45,000 inhabitants ; it now nearly doubles 
that number. In 1842 Toronto contained but 13,000 
people ; its population now is close upon 50,000. King- 
ston in ten years doubled its inhabitants, and London in 
one year added 30 per cent to its number, whilst a corre- 
sponding increase took place in almost every town in Upper 
Canada. Ottawa, soon to be the future capital of Canada, 
contained in 1830 but 150 houses ; it now has a population 
of about 14,000. The farm on which the city now stands was 
purchased but a few years ago for £90 ; and it is even 


58 hunter's hand book of 

stated that the proprietor, who is still living and said to be 
immensely wealthy, afterwards most bitterly regretted his 
bargain, little dreaming that in so short a space of time a 
city would be built upon its rocky surface. 

The great agricultural resources of the country were 
rapidly becoming developed; and although, through the 
foresight of Government, spacious canals and other expen- 
sive public Provincial works were constructed for the 
advancement of her prosperity, still the rigour of the cli- 
mate, which, during six months in the year, closed up her 
ports, rendered it impossible for her to cope with her pow- 
erful, ever-active, and enterprising neighbours, unless some 
means of transit were afforded, direct to the open sea, dur- 
ing the period that the navigation of the St. Lawrence was 

We need not enter into the details of the establishment 
of the great Canadian system of railroads. The remedy to 
the disadvantages under which this Colony labored was to 
be found only in their construction. The credit of the 
Province was pledged, English capital was obtained, and 
Canada is no longer isolated during the long period when 
nature throws an icy warp over her deep broad rivers and 
inland seas. The connecting link to this great chain of 
railway was, however, still wanting ; but that now is accom- 
plished, for the Victoria Bridge links Canada's prosperity 
with that of the wide world, and all the benefits that will 
accrue to the Province from her great Bridge and Rail- 
ways, however dear she may have paid for them, is yet to 
come : it is but the beginning of the end. The traffic 'that 
has passed over the line has considerably increased since 
the bridge has been finished ; and some idea may be formed 
of its advantages when we mention, that, in five nights after 
trains could run through the bridge, 292 cars passed 
through, containing 11723 barrels flour, 1552 barrels 


pork, 140 bales of cotton, 644 tons general goods, 170 
tons iron, and 39,000 feet of lumber. 

Facilities for the transmission and the delivery of freight 
are now afforded by the Grand Trunk Railway unequal- 
led by any other line ; it having but one trans-shipment 
between Cincinnati or Chicago and the Eastern States, 
and none between the west of Canada and the same places. 
In one direction, easterly, its line extends from Portland, in 
Maine, to Quebec and to Riviere du Loup, in Lower 
Canada ; and will doubtless soon be connected with Hali- 
fax, in Nova Scotia : whilst in Upper Canada, it extends, 
in a westerly direction, to London, Detroit, and Michigan ; 
passing through Montreal, Brockville, Kingston, Belleville, 
Cobourg, Port Hope, Toronto, Guelph, and Sarnia, and 
connecting with the other railways in Canada. The day 
too may not be far distant when this line of railway will 
reach the shores of the Pacific Ocean. What will be the 
beneficial result to Canada, time alone will tell ; but, judg- 
I ing from the past, if her prosperity goes on increasing with 
the facilities offered for opening up the country, for extend- 
ing its commerce, and developing its resources, it will be 
great indeed. 

In concluding these remarks, it may not be uninterest- 
ing to the general reader to hear of the incidental occur- 
rences which took place during the construction of the 
Victoria Bridge, copied partly from the Montreal Gazette, 
Of course, the laying of the first stone was the primary event 
in connection with its construction. This took place on the 
22 July, 1854. 

The coffer-dam for No. 1. pier having been floated into 
its place, sunk, water pumped out, and all made right and 
tight, the principal officers of the Company, Sir Cusack P. 
Roney, Managing Director ; Benjamin Holmes, Esq., Vice 
President; Hon. Peter McGill, Alex. McK. Ross, Chief 

60 hunter's hand book of 

Engineer ; Mr. Grant, Assistant Secretary ; S. P. Bidder 
Esq., Manager ; the representatives of the City Press, and i 
large party of ladies and gentlemen were present at the cere- 
mony, at the invitation of Mr. Hodges, the Agent of the 

The party having descended to the bottom of the coffer 
dam, the stone was laid with all the ceremony used on simila 
great occasions. After the ceremony, the guests partook of 
a sumptuous luncheon served up in the bottom of the dam, 
which was followed up by a dance, and the " gruff old St. 
Lawrence never had its bed kicked about by a happier set 
of people.' ' Just as the festivities concluded, a heavy 
thunder-storm commenced ; as if old Vulcan was testifying 
his anger at the commencement of a work that was to 
eclipse all that had ever been wrought by his heathen 
deityship, with his black Cyclopean crew, in the forges oi 
Mount iEtna. I 

On the 13th of March, 1856, a great celebration took 
place in Montreal to commemorate the completion of the 
Grand Trunk Railway to Toronto. It was indeed a gala 

At an early hour the streets presented a most animated 
appearance. Bright coloured flags gracefully floated from 
the windows and the house-tops, or were suspended across 
the streets. The streets were crowded with strangers. 
Every window was crowded with the fair sex, who looked 
down with delight on the grand procession slowly moving 
along in the streets below, the effect of which was very 

In the evening, a banquet and ball was given at Point 
St. Charles, in one of the immense rooms connected with 
the Engine Station. The room was beautifully and taste- 
fully decorated. The rafters were adorned with Cupids 
holding vases of flowers pendant from the roof,and surmount- 



ed by the flags of Britain, France, and the United States. 
Between each pair of pilasters, along the sides, were sus- 
pended the names of cities, alternated with the names of 
celebrated men. 

On each alternate pilaster the monogram of the Grand 
Trunk Railway was intertwined ; on the others were shields 
displaying the flags of Sardinia and Turkey ; and stretched 
along this was the motto, " Success to Mercantile Enterprise 
Railways, Telegraphs, and Ocean Steam-Ships." Below 
these shields was a view of the Grand Trunk Railway 
Bridge over the River Credit. On one side of this, 
was placed the motto " Better do it than wish it to be 
done ;" and on the other side, " Magnanimity is the bond of 
friendship. ,, At the other end of the room was displayed a 
railway trophy surrounded by green boughs, having in the 
centre a view of the Victoria Bridge supported by railway 
and mechanical implements, and figures emblematic of 
agriculture and mechanics. On the right were observed 
the mottoes " God helps them who help themselves," and 
" Past labour is present delight." In the centre of the 
room was placed the dias for distinguished people and 
speakers ; and from the roof, over the dias, was suspended 
a beautifully emblazoned shield, bearing the arms of the 
Governor General, draped with the flags of Britain and the 
United States, with the mottoes " Few things are impossible 
to skill," " Industry is never unfruitful," "Business is 
the salt of life," " Men climb to honor by prudence and 
industry." Opposite, was the orchestra, prettily painted 
in panels surmounted by pendant bouquets. Over it were 
displayed the mottoes " That is gold which is worth gold," 
r Deeds are fruits," " Words are but leaves." The whole 
sides of the room were hung with garlands of green boughs 
twisted, interlaced, and looped up with pretty fasten- 
ings upon the buttresses. 

62 hunter's hand book of 

The coup dlodl on entering was really magnificent. The 
whole area of 34,000 square feet, unbroken by any obsta- 
cle to sight, sparkled and glittered with decoration ; while 
the otherwise sombre hue of the heavy timbers of the roof, 
was broken by the sky-light running along the ridge, for 
several feet on either side, giving the whole a fine and 
equally diffused light. 

When the guests were seated, the effect was grand ; 
giving one a distinct conception of the term often, and 
sometimes so magniloquently used as a " sea of faces." 

It were needless to mention here the names of all the 
principal parties who sat down to the Banquet. Amongst 
the most prominent was His Excellency the Governor 
General ; the Anglican Lord Bishop of Montreal, besides 
all the notables of the Province, and from every part of the 
United States. Various toasts were given and responded 
to ; and the observations that fell from the lips of some of 
the distinguished men on this occasion deserve to be men- 

His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Edmund 
Head, said : — 

" He felt assured that the celebration was one which the 
future historian would look back at with satisfaction : it would 
make a bright page in the history of Canada. It was in 1830 
that Lord Durham made his Report on Canada, and how did he 
describe it ? He stated, that, except in a few spots, the country 
was wild and desolate. But now what was the condition of 
Canada ? The country produced not only enough to supply our 
own needs, but exported to the United States, and to Europe ; 
and all this progress had been made in IT years. Since Lord 
Durham wrote his Report, instead of the 15 miles of railway 
that then existed, there were nearly 1500 miles open. The whole 
country is now opened up, and the markets of Europe rendered 
accessible to the people. The former tedious journey from Quebec 
to Montreal was now performed in five or six hoars ; and the tra- 
veller might go from one end of the Province to the other in 24 

I JL. \-f J. \S xvxu ^-»*m/*-^-^ v* .»-« > 

hours. The Victoria Bridge would render Montreal famous for 
one of the most wonderful works in the world. His Excellency 
then alluded to the Victoria Bridge, connecting the splendid 
and rich valley of the Ottawa with the South." 

Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, in returning thanks 
for the health of the President of the United States, said : — 

"We witness the prosperity of the British Colonies in North 
America, not only without jealousy, but we witness it with 
pride and admiration. Your prosperity is our prosperity. We 
are bound by a thousand associations of blood and kindred. 
We are connected together by those mighty improvements 
which we are met here to day to commemorate. We are begin- 
ning to understand each other, to value each other, to be proud 
of each other's prosperity and success ; and God grant that the 
sons of Bri tish North America and the sons of the North American 
Republic may never meet again on the banks of the St. Law- 
rence, on river or lake, on land or in any other way, than that in 
which we are all met to-day, to grasp each other's hands in 
friendship, and to aid and to encourage each other in the devel- 
opment of the resources of the North American Continent." 

Colonel Tache' also spoke to some length. He remarked : 

" I will admit that a few years back I was one of the unbe- 
lievers. I never thought that this great work we are now called 
upon to celebrate to-day, would be seen by the present genera- 
tion ; but that it would be the lot of future generations to see it. 
I thought so, because there were so many obstacles, so many 
difficulties, in the way." 

Four thousand guests sat down to this great banquet, 
who were invited to it from all parts, from the Mississippi 
on the West to Newfoundland on the East. 

On the 15th August, 1859, was laid the foundation- 
stone of the last pier of the Victoria Bridge. Some 300 
ladies and gentlemen were present at the ceremony, besides 
the members of the City Council, Board of Trade, and 
leading citizens of Montreal. The stone was laid by Mrs. 
Hodges, who performed the duty with feminine graceful- 


ness. It was slowly lowered down into, almost what ma; 
be said to be, its eternal bed, amidst the cheers of all pre- 
sent. The foundation-stone of this pier, which is one oi 
the two large centre piers, was laid upwards of thirty feel 
below the level of the river, on a bed of solid rock. Mr. 
Ross, chief engineer, stated that " upwards of 3,000,000 
cubic feet of limestone was used in the work ; and when 
you consider that the period of our labour is restricted, in 
each season, to an average of 100 days, reckoning each day 
at 10 working hours, or 1,000 hours in a year, it shews 
that we have laid 500,000 feet each year, equal to 5,000 
feet per day, or, coming down lower still, 500 feet per hour. 
You will thus find that we have performed an amount of 
work unequalled by any previous work of art in the world." 

To witness the ceremony was indeed an event in a man's 
life, and bits of the rock were carried off by many who 
witnessed the laying of the foundation-stone of the last 
pier of the great Victoria Bridge. 

One more event must be mentioned, illustrative of * 
kind and sympathetic hearts in the bosoms of the mechanics 
and workmen under the employ of Mr. Hodges. On the 
east side of the embankment of the Victoria Bridge, at 
Point St. Charles, is a spot of ground which was set aside 
by the Provincial Government for the interment of immi- 
grants. In this burial-ground are deposited the remains 
of upwards of 6000 human beings, the victims of that pesti- 
lential fever which, in 1847-48, carried off whole families 
of immigrants who had fled from the famine and the pesti- 
lence that was raging in their native land, only to die upon 
their arrival on a foreign shore, without a friend, perhaps, 
to close the eyes, soothe the sufferings of the dying, or to 
shed a tear over the unmarked grave of the poor immigrant 

Actuated with the noble feeling that all men are brethren, 
the employes of Mr. Hodges, to commemorate their sad 



and unhappy fate, and to point out to the passing stranger 
their last resting-place, placed in the burial-ground 
a large boulder taken out of the foundation of one of 
the piers, weighing over 17 tons, of which the following, 
with its appropriate inscription, is an illustration : 

Reader, we have endeavoured to give a sketch of the 
history of the great Victoria Bridge, but we feel how ina- 
dequately has the task been accomplished. The man of 
science will feel disappointed that these pages are so bar- 
ren of scientific matter ; but we have reason to hope that a 
large work of great merit, will, ere long, be published in 
England by one who built the Bridge. 

There is, however, a moral in its history, a practical 
illustration, that when great ideas are conceived by men of 


GG hunter's hand book of 

sense, however impraticable they may appear to the mul- 
titude at first, learn not to despise them. The greatest dis- 
coverers that the world has ever known, have been laughed 
at as fools, or treated as madmen ; and the Victoria Bridge 
would not at this day have been built across the great 
river St. Lawrence, had those who conceived the idea been 
weak minded enough to succumb to public opinion. 



To the Chairman and Directors op the Grand Trunk Railway 
Company of Canada. 

Gentlemen,— Having learnt that some doubts have been ex- 
pressed respecting the fitness of the designs for the Victoria 
Brido-e across the St. Lawrence at Montreal,— that it is more 
costly than necessary, and that other systems of structure less 
expensive, yet equally efficient, might with propriety be adopted, 
—I feel called upon to lay before you in some detail the con- 
siderations which influenced me in recommending the adoption 
> which is now being carried out. In doing so, I beg to assure 
you that the subject was approached in the outset, both by Mr. 
Alexander Ross, your Engineer in Canada, and myself, with a 
thorough consciousness of the enormous expense which must 
inevitably be involved, whatever description of structure might 
be adopted ■ also of the large proportion which this cost must 
bear to the entire outlay of the undertaking of the Grand Trunk 
Railway of Canada. We were, therefore, fully alive to the im- 
perative necessity of studying the utmost economy in every 
art of the work, consistent with our notions of efficiency and 

P \Twill I be y my endeavour, in the following remarks, to satisfy 
you and those interested in the undertaking, that these object, 
have been steadfastly kept in view 

It would evidently be unreasonable to expect, that, amongst 
professional men, an absolute identity of opinion should exist, 
either in reference to the general design, or in many of the de- 
tails of a work intended to meet such unusually formidable 

6^ hunter's hand book of 

natural difficulties, as are to be contended with in the construc- 
tion of a bridge across the St. Lawrence. 

You will remember that at the time I first entered upon the 
consideration of the subject, these difficulties were deemed by 
many well acquainted with the locality and publicly stated by 
them, to be, if not insurmountable, at all events of so serious a 
character as to render the undertaking a very precarious one. 

The information I received respecting these obstacles, when 
my attention was first drawn to this project, was so striking, 
that I reserved forming an opinion until I had visited the spot, 
had well considered all the detailed information which Mr. 
Alexander Ross had collected, during several months' previous 
residence in the country ; and had heard the opinion of many 
intelligent residents regarding the forces exhibited by the move- 
ments of the huge masses of ice during the opening of the river 
in spring. 

The facts gathered from these sources fully convinced me, 
that, although the undertaking was practicable, the forces 
brought into action by the floating ice, as described, were of a 
formidable nature, and could only be effectively counteracted 
by a structure of a most solid and massive kind. 

All the information which has been collected since I made 
my first report, has only tended to confirm the impressions by 
which I was then guided. 

For the sake of clearness and simplicity, the consideration of 
the design may be divided into four parts : — first, the approaches; 
secondly, the foundations ; thirdly, the upper masonry ; and, 
fourthly, the superstructure, or roadway. 

The approaches, — extending in length to 700 feet on the 
south or St. Lambert side, and 1300 feet on the Point St. Charles 
side, — consist of solid embankments, formed of large masses of 
stone, heaped up and faced on the sloping sides with rubble 
masonry. The up-stream side of these embankments is formed 
into a hollow shelving slope, the upper portion of which is a 
circular curve of 60 feet radius, and the lower portion, or foot 
of the slope, has a straight incline of three to one, while the 
down-stream side, which is not exposed to the direct action of 
the floating ice, has a slope of one to one. These embankments 
are being constructed in a very solid and durable manner, and 
from their extending along that portion of the river only, where 


the depth at summer level is not more than two feet six inches ; 
the navigation is not interrupted, and a great protection is, 
by their means, afforded to the city from the effect of the 
iC shoves " of ice which are known to be so detrimental to its 

For further details on this subject, I beg to refer you to the 
Report made by Mr. Ross and myself on the 6th of June, 1853, 
to the Honourable the Board of Railway Commissioners, Quebec. 

Advantage has also been taken of the shallow depth of water 
in constructing the abutments, which are each 242 feet in length, 
and consist of masonry of the same description as that on the piers 
which I am about to describe, and, from their being erected in 
such a small depth of water, their foundations do not require 
any extraordinary means for their construction. 

The foundations, as you are aware, are fortunately on solid 
rock, in no place at a great depth below the summer level of the 
water in the river. > 

Various methods of constructing the foundations suggested 
themselves and were carefully considered, but, without deciding 
upon any particular method of proceeding, it was assumed that 
the diving-bell y or such modifications of it, on a larger scale, as 
have been recently employed with great success in situations 
not very dissimilar, would be the most expedient. The Con- 
tractors, however, or rather the Superintendent, Mr. Hodges, in 
conjunction with Mr. Ross, after much consideration on the 
spot, devised another system of laying the foundations, which 
was by means of floating " coffer-dams," so contrived that the 
usual difficulty in applying coffer-dams for rock foundations 
would be, it was hoped, in a great measure obviated. When in 
Montreal, I examined a model of this contrivance and quite 
approved of its application, without feeling certain that it 
would materially reduce the expense of construction below that 
of the system assumed to be adopted by Mr. Ross and myself in 
making the estimate. In approving of the method proposed by 
Mr. Hodges, I was actuated by the feeling that the Engineers 
would not be justified in controlling the Contractors in the 
adoption of such means as they might consider most economical 
to themselves, so long as the soundness and stability of the 
work were in no way affected. 

This new method has been hitherto acted upon with such 


new modifications as experience has suggested from time to 
time during the progress of the work, and although successfully, 
I learn from the Contractors that experience has proved the bed 
of the river to be far more irregular than was at first supposed^ 
— presenting, instead of tolerably uniform ledges of rock, large 
loose fragments which are strewed about, and cause much incon- 
venience and delay. 

They are therefore necessitated to vary their mode of pro- 
ceeding to meet these new circumstances ; and it may be stated 
that all observations up to this time show the propriety, not- 
withstanding the difficulty with dams, of carrying the ashlar 
masonry of the piers down to the solid rock, and that any 
attempt at obtaining a permanent foundation by means of con- 
crete confined in " caissons " would be utterly futile. However, 
if it were assumed to be practicable, there would be extreme 
danger in trusting such a superstructure of masonry upon con- 
crete, confined in cast-iron caissons above the bed of the 
river. Indeed, considering the peculiarities of the situation and 
the facts which have been ascertained, this mode of forming 
foundations is the most inappropriate that can be suggested, as 
it involves so many contingencies, that to calculate the extreme 
expense would be utterly impossible. 

These considerations lead me, therefore, to the conclusion, 
that the present design for the foundation is as economical as 
is compatible with complete security. 

We are now brought to the question, as to whether the upper 
masonry is of a more expensive description than necessary, or 
whether it can be reduced in quality. This question is exceed- 
ingly important, since the cost of the masonry constitutes 
upwards of 50 per cent, of the total estimated cost of the bridge 
and approaches. The amount of the item of expenditure for 
the masonry is clearly dependent upon the number of piers, 
which is again regulated by the spans between them. 

The width of the openings in bridges is frequently influenced, 
and sometimes absolutely governed, by peculiarities of site. 
In the present case, however, the spans, with the exception of 
the middle one, are decided by a comparison with the cost of the 
piers ; for it is evident that so soon as the increased expense in 
the roadway, by enlarging the spans, balances the economy pro- 



duced by lessening the number of piers, any further increase of 
span would be wasteful. 

Calculations, based upon this principle of reasoning, coupled 
to some extent with considerations based upon the advantages 
to be derived from having all the tubes as nearly alike as possi- 
ble, have proved that the spans which have been adopted in the 
present design for all the side openings, viz. 242 feet, have pro- 
duced the greatest economy. The centre span has been made 
330 feet, not only for the purpose of giving every possible faci- 
lity for the navigation, but because that span is very nearly the 
width of the centre and principal deep channel of the stream. 

The correctness of the result of these calculations obviously 
depends upon the assumption, that the roadway is not more 
costly than absolutely necessary ; for if the comparison be made 
with a roadway estimated to cost less than the tubular one in 
the design, then the most economical span for the side openings 
would have come larger than 242f eet, and the amount of ma- 
sonry might have been reduced below what is now intended. In 
considering the quantity of masonry in the design, you must, 
therefore, take it for granted, for the moment, that the tubular 
roadway is the cheapest and best that could be adopted, and 
l^leave the proof of this fact to the sequel of these remarks. 

It may perhaps appear to some in examining the design, that 
a saving might be effected, in the masonry, by abandoning the 
inclined planes which are added to the up-side of each pier, for 
the purpose of arresting the ice, and termed " ice-breakers." 

In European rivers, and I believe in those of America also, 
these " ice-breakers " are usually placed a little way in advance 
of, or rather above, the piers of the bridges, with a view of sav- 
ing them from injury by the ice shelving up above the level of 
(frequently on to) the roadway. 

In the case of the Victoria bridge, the level of the roadway is 
far above that to which the ice ever reaches ; and as the ordin- 
ary plan of " ice-breakers " composed of timber and stone 
would be much larger in bulk, though of a rougher character, 
than those which are now added to the piers, I have reason to 
believe that they would be equally costly, besides requiring con- 
stant annual reparation. It was therefore decided to make them 
a part of the structure itself, as is now being done. 

To convey some idea of the magnitude of ordinary u ice-break- 

12 hunter's hand book of 

ers " placed on the up-side of the pier, and to enable you to 
form some notion of their cost, I cannot do better than quote the 
following from the excellent report addressed to the Honorable 
John Young, by Mr. Thomas C. Keefer, whose experience in such 
matters, from long residence in the country, entitles his opinion 
as to the proper character of such works to confidence : 

" The plan I have proposed contemplates the planting of very 
large "cribs" or wooden "shoes," covering an area of about 
one fourth of an acre each, and leaving a clear passage between 
them of about 240 feet, — a width which will allow ordinary rafts 
to float broadside between them. These " islands" of timber and 
stone, will have a rectangular well left open in the middle of 
their width, toward their lower ends, out of which will rise the 
solid masonry towers, supporting the weight of the superstruc- 
ture, and resting on the rocky bed of the river. This enclosure 
of solid crib-work, all round the masonry, yet detached from it, 
will receive the shock, pressure, and grinding of the ice, and 
yield to a certain extent, by its elasticity, without communicat- 
ing the shock to the masonry piers. These cribs, if damaged, 
can be repaired with facility, and, from their cohesive powers, 
will resist the action of the ice better than ordinary masonry. 
During construction, they will serve as coffer-dams, and, being 
formed of the cheapest materials, their value as service-ground 
or platforms for the use of machinery, the moving of scows, &c, 
during the erection of the works, will be at once appreciated. 
Their application to the sides of the piers is with particular refe- 
rence to preventing the ice from reaching the spring of the arches, 
which will be the lowest and most exposed part of the super- 
structure, if wood be used." 

In the first design for the Victoria bridge, u ice-breakers " 
very similar to the above described by Mr. Keefer were intro- 
duced ; but subsequently the arrangement was changed, partly 
with a view of gaining the assistance of the whole weight of 
the bridge to resist the pressure of the ice, before it became 
fixed, and partly for the purpose of obviating the considerable 
annual outlay. 

I have not data at hand to estimate correctly the cost of the 
ordinary " ice-breakers " as described : but I have little or no 
doubt, that, as I before stated, they would have required to have 
been large and substantial masses of stone and timber, which 



in amount of cost would be scarcely less than, if not equal to, 
the inclined planes of masonry which have been added to the 
up side of the piers. On this point, however, as well as upon 
others in reference to some reduction in the quantity of masonry 
in the piers and abutments, I intend to address Mr. Ross, who 
being on the spot will be able to determine with more accuracy 
than I can the amount of actual saving which can be effected 
in the masonry. 

It is now necessary for me to say a word or two upon the 
style of the workmanship. It consists simply of solid ashlar ; 
and considering the severe pressure and abrasion to which it 
will be subjected by the grinding of the ice, and the excess- 
ively low temperature to which it will for months be periodi- 
cally exposed, I am confident that it is not executed with more 
solidity than prudence absolutely demands ; and considering 
the difference of the rates of wages in Canada and this country, 
I believe the price of the work will come out nearly the same 
as any similar work let (here) by competition. 

The description and style of the masonry is precisely similar 
to that adopted in the Britannia Bridge ; the material is the 
same, and the facility of obtaining it is not in any important 
- degree dissimilar. 

The next point to be discussed is the construction of the su- 
perstructure, or roadway ; and here, owing to the misconcep- 
tion which seems to exist on this subject amongst some Engi- 
neers, I am compelled to enter somewhat into technical details 
in reference to the treatment and construction of beams. 

The matter has already been debated before the Institution 
of Civil Engineers, at great length, arising out of a paper read 
by Mr. Barton on the construction of the bridge over the river 
Boyne, erected under the direction of Sir John Macneill. 

In the design of this bridge the Engineer has adopted what 
is technically termed the " Trellis " system of beam or girder, 
for the avowed purpose of saving material, as compared with 
the plain tubular system adopted in the Britannia, and now pro- 
posed for the Victoria Bridge. 

It has been already stated that the design and the cost of mason- 
ry materially depend upon the comparative expense which may 
be incurred in the construction of the Roadway, since the spans 
or openings adopted are really governed by this item in the 

74 HUNTER'S hand book ok 

estimate. It is, therefore, doubly necessary that this part of 
the proposed design should be analyzed with care. 

Notwithstanding the discussion which took place at the In- 
stitution of Civil Engineers, as to the comparative merits of 
constructing beams in almost every variety of detail, it cer- 
tainly appears, as far as I am able to form a judgment, that 
much error still prevails regarding the simple principles that 
should, and indeed must govern the arrangement of every beam- 

The tubular system is openly declared by some to be a waste- 
ful expenditure of material for a given strength ; — in short, that, 
in the scale of comparative merit, it stands at the lowest point. 
This, if it were the fact, would not be extraordinary, since it 
was the first proposed for carrying railways over spans never be- 
fore deemed practicable ; but in the following remarks I hope 
to convince you, in the simplest manner, that (except in parti- 
cular cases) whilst it is not a more costly method of construc- 
tion, it is the most efficacious one that has hitherto been de- 

At present there mny be regarded as existing three methods 
of constructing wrought-iron girders or beams for railway pur- 

First. — The Tubular Girder, or what is sometimes called the 
Box- Girder j when employed for small spans, with which may 
also be named the Single-ribbed girder, — the whole belonging to 
the class known as "Boiler-plate" girders. 

Second. — The Trellis- Girder, which is simply a substitution 
of iron bars for the wood in the trellis-bridges, which have been 
so successfully employed in the United States, where wood is 
cheap and iron is dear. 

Third. — The Single triangle girder, recently called "Warren," 
from a patent having been obtained for it by a gentleman of 
that name. 

Now in calculating the strength of these different classes of 
girders, one ruling principle appertains, and is common to all 
of them. Primarily and essentially the ultimate strength is 
considered to exist in the top and bottom, — the former being 
exposed to a compressive force by the action of the load, and 
the latter to a force of tension ; therefore, whatever be the class 
or denomination of girders, they must all be alike in amount of 



effective material in these members, if their spans and depths 

I are the same, and they have to sustain the same amount of 

On this point I believe there is no difference of opinion 
amongst those who have had to deal with the subject. Hence, 
then, the question of comparative merits, among the different 
classes of construction of beams or girders, is really narrowed 
to the method of connecting the top and bottom webs ) so called. 
In the tubular system, this is effected by means of continuous 
plates riveted together ; in the trellis girders, it is accomplished 
by the application of a trellis-work, composed of bars of iron 
forming struts and ties, more or less numerous, intersect- 
ing each other, and riveted at the intersections ; and in 
the girders of the simple triangular, or " Warren" system, the 
connexion between the top and bottom is made with bars, — not 
intersecting each other, but forming a series of equilateral tri- 
angles. These bars are alternately struts and ties. 

Now in the consideration of these different plans for connect- 
ing the top and bottom webs of a beam, there are two questions 
to be disposed of; one is, Which is the most economical? and 
the other, Which is the most effective mode of so doing? But 
r while thus reducing the subject to simplicity, it is of the utmost 
importance to keep constantly in mind, that any saving that the 
one system may present over the other, is actually limited to a 
portion, or per centage, of a subordinate part of the total 
amount of the material employed. 

In the case now under consideration, namely, that of the 
Victoria tubes, the total weight of the material between the 
bearings is 242 tons, which weight is disposed of in the following 
manner : — 

Top of Tube, tons 76 

Bottom of Tube, 92 


Sides of Tube, 84 

Total tons, 242 

Assuming that the strain per square inch, in the top and bot- 
tom, is the same for ev^ry kind of beam, — say 4 tons of com- 
pression in the top, and 5 tons of tension in the bottom, — the 
only saving that can by any possibility be made to take place 


being confined to the sides, must be a saving in that portion of 
the weight which is only about 34 per cent of the whole. How, 
therefore, can 70 per cent of saving be realized, as has been 
stated, out of the total weight, when the question resolves itself 
into a difference of opinion on a portion which is only 34 per 
cent of such weight? 

I am tempted to reiterate here much that was said by several 
experienced Engiueers on the subject, during the discussions 
already allude to, at the Institution of Civil Engineers ; but the 
argument adduced on that occasion could only be rendered 
thoroughly intelligible by the assistance of diagrams of some 
complexity, and I think sufficient has been said to demonstrate, 
that no saving of importance can be made in the construction 
of the roadway of the Victoria Bridge, as it is now designed by 
the substitution of any other description of girder. Yet, lest 
this should be considered mere assertion, permit me to adduce 
one or two examples, where the close-sided tubular system, and 
the open-sided system, may be fairly brought into comparison 
with each other in actual practice. 

The most remarkable parallel case which occurs to me, is 
the comparison of the Victoria tubes under consideration, with 
a triangular, or M Warren " bridge, which has been erected by 
Mr. Joseph Cubitt, over a branch of the river Trent, near Newark, 
on the Great Northern Railway. 

The spans are very similar, and so are the depths. In calling 
your attention to the comparison, you must bear in mind that 
all possible skill and science were brought to bear upon every 
portion of the details of the Newark-Dyke Bridge in order to 
reduce the total weight and cost to a minimum. 

The comparison stands thus : — 

Victoria Bridge as being erected. 

Span, 242 feet; weight, including bearings, 2*75 Tons for 

a length of 257 feet. 
Newark-Dyke Bridge as erected. 

Span, 240 feet, 6 inches ; weight, including bearings, 392 

Tons for a length of 254 feet. 
Which shews a balance of 17 tons in favor of the Victoria tubes. 

The Newark-Dyke Bridge is only 13 feet wide, while the 
Victoria tube is 16 feet, having a wider-guage railway passing 
through it. 



This is a very important case, as the spans and the depths are all 
but identical, and it will therefore enable you to form a judg- 
ment upon that point which has caused so much controversy at 
the discussion alluded to. It is true that in the Newark-Dyke 
Bridge a large proportion of the weight is of cast-iron, a mate- 
rial I have frequently adopted in the parts of tubular bridges 
subject to compression only, but from its brittle character I 
should never recommend it for exportation, nor for the parts of 
a structure that are liable to a lateral blow. 

It has been suggested that there is much convenience in the 
arrangement of the trellis, or u Warren" bridge, as it may be 
taken to pieces, and more conveniently and economically 
transported over-land than u Boiler-plates." This may be cor- 
rect under some circumstances, but it cannot hold good for a 
work like the Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence. 

I am aware that girders upon the " Warren " principle have 
been adopted in India, and I am not prepared to call in question 
the propriety of these applications in certain cases ; but what I 
have been aiming at in these observations, is, to prove to you 
that no economy over the plain tube can be effected in the case 
of the Victoria Bridge. I may add, that it has sometimes been 
urged that the workmanship in trellis, or " Warren " girders, is 
of a less expensive character than that required in tubes. I am 
bound to confess my utter inability to understand such a state- 
ment ; for, after many years of practical experience as a manu- 
facturer of iron work of every description, I do not know any 
class of workmanship that bears so small a proportion to the 
value of the material as boiler-plate work. If there be any 
difference in the cost, it ought certainly be in favor of tubular 

Another example may be mentioned of a tubular beam, 
somewhat similar in dimensions to the last described, and one 
which is actually erected on a continuation of the same line 
of railway as that on which the Newark-Dyke Bridge is situ- 
ated ; namely, over the river Aire at Ferry Bridge. Although 
the similarity is not so great with this as with the Victoria tube, 
yet I believe it is sufficiently so to form another proof that the 
advantage is in favor of the solid side. 

As before : 

78 hunter's hand book of 

Newark-Dyke Bridge. 
Span, 240 feet, 6 inches ; weight, 292 tong. 

Ferry Bridge. 
Span, 225 feet; weight, 235 tons. 
The difference between these weights is more than sufficient to 
compensate for the difference of span ; besides which, in the 
Ferry bridge, made according to my designs and instructions, I 
was lavish in the thickness of the side-plates, and the bearings 
which are included in the above weight were stiffened by 
massive pillars of cast iron. 

For a further example, let me compare the Boyne trellis 
bridge (held by some to be the most economical) with the pre- 
sent Victoria tubes. 

The Boyne bridge has three spans, the centre one being 264 
feet, and the height is 22$ feet. It is constructed for a double 
line of way, and is 24 feet wide. The total load, including 
the beam itself, the rolling load at two tons per foot, and plat- 
form rails, &c, amount to 980 tons, uniformly distributed. 

The bridge is constructed upon the principle of " continuous 
beams," a term which signifies that it is not allowed to take a 
natural deflection due to its span ; but being tied over the piers 
to the other girders, the effective central span is shortened to 
174 feet. In fact, this principle changes the three spans into 
five spans. Now the effective area given for compression in 
this centre span is 113£ inches, which gives a strain for the 174 
feet span of nearly 6 tons to the inch in comparison. 

The Victoria tubes are so dissimilar in form and circumstances 
to the Boyne bridge, that it is a troublesome matter to reduce 
the two to a comparative state. However, the Victoria tubes 
are known to be 275 tons in weight, 242 feet in span, and of 
19 feet average depth, the strain not being more than 4 tons per 
inch for compression, with a uniform load of 514 tons, which 
includes its own weight, sleepers and rails, and a rolling load 
of one ton per foot. 

The Victoria Bridge has not been designed upon the principle 
of continuous beams, for practical reasons, including the circum- 
stance of the steep gradient on each side of the centre span, 
and the great disturbance which would be caused by the accu- 
mulated expansion and contraction, of such a continuous system 
of iron-work, in a climate where the extremes of temperature 


are so widely apart ; otherwise the principle alluded to, was 
first developed in tubular beams, namely in the Britannia bridge. 

But since we are only now discussing the merits of the sides, 
let the Boyne bridge be supposed to have sufficient area in its 
top to resist 4 tons per inch (the proper practical strain), and 
let the spans be not continuous. It will be found by calcula- 
tion that the area required at top will be 364 inches, instead of 
113| inches, and the weight of the span would be found by cal- 
culation to come out little short of 600 tons ; whereas it is now 
386 tons ; and if we suppose the Victoria tube to carry a double 
line of way and 24 feet wide with a depth of 22 1 feet, even if 
we double the size in quantity, the whole amount of weight will 
be certainly very little more than 500 tons for 242 feet span. 

It will be necessary to conclude my remarks with some fur- 
ther observations relative to the comparisons under our notice, 
which are of vital importance in considering the design of such 
a bridge as that to be erected for the Grand Trunk Railway of 

Independently of the comparative weights and cost, which I 
believe have been fairly placed before you, the comparative 
merits as regards efficiency have yet to be alluded to. 

You may be aware, that, at the present time, theorists are 
quite at variance with each other as to the action of a load in 
straining a beam in the various points of its depth ; and the fact 
is now known, that all the received formulae for calculating 
the strength of a beam subjected to a transverse load require 
re-modelling ; therefore, at present it is far beyond the power of 
the designers of trellis or triangular bridges to say with pre- 
cision what the laws are which govern the strains and resis- 
tances in the sides of beams, or even of simple solid beams ; yet 
one thing is certain, which is, that the sides of all these trellis 
or " Warren" bridges are useless except for the purpose of con- 
necting the top and the bottom and keeping them in their proper 
position. They depend upon their connection with the top and 
bottom webs for their own support ; and since they could not 
sustain their shape but collapsed immediately they were dis- 
connected from these top and bottom members, it is evident 
that they add to the strain upon them, and consequently to 
that extent reduce the ultimate strength of the beams. 

In the case of the Newark Dyke Bridge, when tested to a 

80 hunter's hand book of 

strain of 6% tons to the inch, its deflection was 7 inches in the 
middle ; and when tested with its calculated load of one ton per 
foot run, the deflection was 4£ inches. The deflection of the 
Victoria tubes by calculation will not be more, with the load of 
one ton per foot, than £ inch ; and we have had sufficient 
proof of the correctness of this calculation in existing exam- 
ples. That of the Boyne bridge, with a uniform load of 530 
tons, was £, with the spans shortened in effect as described. 

Many other bridges of similar spans to those above named 
have been constructed upon the "open-side," or " truss " prin- 
ciple, which are (in every sense of the word) excellent struc- 
tures ; but since no comparison of economy between them and 
the Victoria tubes has been offered, it would be improper to 
class them with those (already named) which have actually 
been put forward as examples of economy to a large extent 
over the tubular system. 

As an argument in favor of the trellis beams, it has been 
stated that no formula has been used to value the sides of a 
plate beam for horizontal strains ; and, therefore, since the 
sides are thrown away except for the office they perform in con- 
necting the top and bottom webs, it is asked why should more 
material be placed in the sides than sufficient for that purpose. 
Now I admit that there is no formula for valuing the solid sides 
for strains, and that we only ascribe to them the value or use 
of connecting the top and the bottom ; yet we are aware, that, from 
their continuity and solidity they, are of value to resist horizon- 
tal and many other strains, independently of the top and the bot- 
tom, by which they add very much to the stiffness of the beam • 
and the fact of their containing more material than necessary to 
connect the top and bottom webs, is by no means fairly estab- 

It is also said that the " trellis " and " Warren " beams are 
usually made deeper in proportion to their span, than the tubes, 
and therefore the strain being less, a less quantity of material 
is employed in the top and bottom webs. An important con- 
sideration should be named in reply to this, — which concerns 
all the classes of beams alluded to, — which is, that any change of 
proportion in the figure of a beam changes the amount of strain 
caused by the load, and consequently changes the weight of the 
beam itself. The resistance to horizontal strain in the above 


classes of bridges depends upon the distances between their top 
and bottom webs. Such beams are said to vary in strength 
directly as their depths, and inversely as their spans. With re- 
gard to tubular beams, a practical rule has been established, 
which determines that the depth shall not be less than l-15th of 
the span ; but although this is the minimum depth given, 
there is no reason to consider it the maximum depth. Indeed, 
the tubular bridges just named are of a greater depth than that 
proportion would give ; for instance, the depth of Ferry bridge 
is 1-1 lth of its span, and that of the Victoria tubes, next the 
centre opening, is l-12th of the span. These proportions are, 
I believe, very similar to those that are actually adopted for 
Warren or trellis beams. 

It is well known that the diagonal u struts V in these latter 
systems (when under pressure) deflect as if they themselves 
were beams ; and any increase in the depth of the sides would 
be an increase of length in the diagonals ; which in the " War- 
ren " must be compensated by an increase in their sectional 
area ; and in the trellis beam, if they are not increased in area, 
they must be in number, so as to make more intersections ; 
therefore an increase in depth of the sides of these systems, 
i> would not only be a proportionate increase in their weight, but 
would be an increase per square foot of their surface. Now the 
sides of a tube (from their nature) may be increased in depth 
up to a reasonable practical limit without any increase in their 

Having given you my views with respect to the comparative 
merits of the different kinds of roadway consisting of " beams " 
that may be adopted in the Victoria bridge, I now proceed to 
draw your attention to the adaptation of the lt suspension" 
principle, similar to that of the bridge which has been complet- 
ed within the last few months by Mr. Roebling, over the Niagara 
River, near the Great u Falls." 

You are aware that during my last visit to Canada I examin- 
ed this remarkable work, and made myself acquainted with its 
general details ; since then Mr. Roebling has kindly forwarded 
to me a copy of his last report, dated May, 1855, in which all 
the important facts connected with the structure, as well as the 
results which have been produced since its opening for the pas- 
sage of railway trains, are carefully and clearly set^forth. 



82 hunter's hand book of 

No one can study the statements contained in that repor 
without admiring the great skill which has been displayed 
throughout in the design ; neither can any one who has seen 
the locality fail to appreciate the fitness of the structure for the 
singular combination of difficulties which are presented. 

Your Engineer, Mr. Alexander Ross, has personally examined 
the Niagara bridge since its opening, with the view of institut- 
ing, as far as is practicable, a comparison between that kind of 
structure and the one proposed for the Victoria Bridge ; and as 
he has since communicated to me by letter the general conclu- 
sions at which he has arrived, I think I cannot do better than 
convey them to you in his own words, which are subjoined 
below : — 

11 I find from various sources that considerable pains have 
been taken to produce an impression in England in favor of a 
Suspension Bridge in place of that we are engaged in construct- 
ing across the St. Lawrence at this place. This idea, no doubt, 
has arisen from the success of the Niagara Suspension Bridge, 
lately finished by Mr. Roebling, and now in use by the Great 
Western Railway Company, as the connecting link between 
their lines on each side the St. Lawrence, about two miles j 
below the Great * Falls/ of the situation and particulars of 
which you will no doubt have some recollection. I visited the 
spot lately, and found Mr. Roebling there, who gave me every 
facility I could desire for my objects. Of his last report on the 
completion of the work, he also gave me a copy, which you will 
receive with this : I have marked the points which contain the 
substance of his statement. I also enclose an engraved sketch 
of the structure. Mr. Roebling has succeeded in accomplishing 
all he had undertaken, viz. safely to pass over railway trains at 
a speed not exceeding 5 miles an hour ; this speed, however, is 
not practised, — the time occupied in passing over 800 feet is 3 
minutes, which is equal to 3 miles an hour. The deflection is 
lound to vary from 5 to 9 inches, depending on the extent of the 
load, and the largest load yet passed over is 326 tons of 2000 lbs. 
each, which caused a depression of 10 inches. A precaution has 
been taken to diminish the span from 800 to 700 feet, by building 
up, underneath the platform at each end, about 40 feet in length 
intervening between the towers and the face of the precipice 
upon which they stand j and struts have also been added, ex- 



tending 10 feet further. The points involved in the considera- 
tion of this subject are, first, sufficiency, and second, cost. 
These are, in this particular case, soon disposed of. First, we 
have a structure which we dare not use at a higher speed than 
3 miles an hour. In crossing the St. Lawrence at Montreal we 
should thus occupy three quarters of an hour ; and allowing 
reasonable time for trains clearing and getting well out of each 
other's way, I consider that 20 trains in the 24 hours is the 
utmost we could accomplish. When our communication is 
completed across the St. Lawrence, there will be lines, [now 
existing, having their termini on the South shore,] which, with 
our own line, will require four or five times this accommodation. 
This is no exaggeration. Over the bridge in question, although 
opened only a few weeks, and the roads yet incomplete on either 
side, there are between 30 and 40 trains pass daily. The mixed 
application of timber and iron in connection with wire, ren- 
ders it impossible to put up so large a work to answer the 
purposes required at Montreal ; we must, therefore, construct it 
entirely of iron, omitting all perishable materials ; and we are 
thus brought to consider the question of cost. In doing which, 
as regards the Victoria Bridge, I find that, dividing it under 
* three heads, it stands as follows : — 

First, — the approaches and abutments, which together 
extend to 3000 feet in length, amount in the estimate 
to £200,000 

Second, — the masonry, forming the piers which occupy 
the intervening space of 7000 feet between the abut- 
ments, including all dams and appliances for their 
erection £800,000 

Third, — the wrought-iron tubular superstructure, 7000 

feet in length, which amounts to £400,000 

(About £57 per lineal foot.) « 

Making a total of. £1,400,000 

" By substituting a Suspension Bridge the case would stand 
thus : — The approaches and abutments extending to 3,000 feet 
in length being common to both, more especially as these are 
now in an advanced state, may be stated as above at £200,000. 

11 The Masonry of the Victoria Bridge piers, range from 40 to 
72 feet in height averaging 56 feet and these are 24 in number, 

84 hunter's hand book of 

the number required for a suspension bridge admitting of span 
of about 700 feet, would be 10, and these would extend to an 
average height of 125 feet. — These 10 piers, with the propor- 
tions due to their height and stability, would contain as much 
(probably more) masonry as is contained in the 24 piers de- 
signed for the Victoria Bridge, and the only item of saving, 
which would arise between these, would be the lesser number of 
dams that would be required for the suspension piers ; but this I 
beg to say, is more than doubly balanced by the excess in ma- 
sonry, and the additional cost entailed in the construction, at 
so greatly an increased a height. Next, as to the superstruc- 
ture, which in the Victoria bridge costs £57 per lineal foot, — - 
Mr. Roebling in his report, states the cost of his bridge to have 
been $400,000, which is equal to .£80,000 sterling. Estimating 
his towers and anchor masonry at £20,000, which I believe is 
more than their due, we have £60,000 left for the superstruc- 
ture, which for a length of 800 feet is equal to £75 per lineal 
foot, giving an excess of £18 per foot over the tubes, of which 
we have 7,000 feet in length. — By this data, we show an excess 
of nearly ten per cent in the suspension, as compared with the 
tubular principle, for the particular locality with which we 
have to deal, besides having a structure perishable in itself, on i 
account of the nature of the materials ; and to construct them 
entirely of iron, would involve an increase in the cost which 
no circumstance connected with our local, or any other, consid- 
eration at Montreal, would justify. We attain our ends by a 
much more economical structure, and, what is of still greater 
consequence, a more permanent one ; and as Mr. Roebling says, 
no suspension bridge is safe without the appliances of stays from 
below, no stays of the kind referred to could be used in the 
Victoria bridge, — both on account of the navigation and the 
ice, either of which, coming in contact with them, would 
instantly destroy them. No security would he left against the 
storms and hurricanes so frequently occurring in this part of the 

" No one, however, capable of forming a judgment upon the 
subject will doubt for one moment the propriety of adopting the 
suspended mode of structure for the particular place and object 
it is designed to serve at Niagara. A gorge 800 feet in width 
and 240 in depth, with a foaming cataract racing at a speed from 


20 to 30 miles an hour, underneath, points out at once that the 
design is most eligible ; and Mr. Roebling has succeeded in per- 
fecting a work capable of passing over 10 or 12 trains an hour, 
if it should be required to do so. The end is attained by means 
the most applicable to the circumstances ; these means however 
are only applicable where they can be used with economy, as in 
this instance." 

My own sentiments are so fully conveyed in the above extract 
from Mr. Ross's letter, that I can add no further remark upon 
the subject, except that there appears to be a discrepancy in that 
part which relates to cost. 

In dividing the £80,000 into items, Mr. Ross has deducted 
£20,000 for masonry, and left the residue £60,000 for the 800 
feet of roadway. Now it appears evident that this amount should 
include the cost of the " land chains j" and assuming their value 
at about £15,000, there would be only £45,000 left for the 800 
feet of roadway, thus reducing the cost per lineal foot to about 
that of the tube. But in the application of a suspension bridge 
for the St. Lawrence the item £15,000 for land chains, would 
of course have to be added to the cost of the 7000 feet of road- 
way, which would swell the amount per foot 1o a little over that 
i of the tubes. 

In all that has been said respecting the comparative merits of 
the different systems of roadway, you will perceive that a com- 
plete wooden structure has not been alluded to, because, in the 
first place, when the design for the Victoria Bridge was at first 
being considered, wood was deemed not sufficiently permanent ; 
in the second place, the structures alluded to in the report, as 
being inferior to that now in progress, are proposed to be con- 
structed of stone and iron work ; and as a third reason, the con- 
struction of the tubular roadway is already so far advanced that 
any alteration, to the extent of abandoning iron and adopting 
woodj must involve monetary questions of so serious a nature as 
to render the subject beyond discussion, or even being thought 
of in this Report. 

In conclusion, therefore, I have to state to you my deliberate 
opinion, that the present design now being carried out for the 
Victoria Bridge is the most suitable that can be adopted, taking 
all the circumstances into consideration, to which the question 
relates. In making this statement, I must ask you to bear in 

SO hunter's hand book of 

mind, that I am not addressing you as an advocate for a tubular 
bridge, I am very desirous of calling your especial attention to 
this fact ; for really much error prevails upon this point, through 
the impression that in every case I must appear as an advocate. 
No one is more aware than I am that such inflexible advocacy 
would amount to an absurdity. 

I entirely concur in what Mr. Ross says respecting the pro- 
priety of applying the suspension principle of the passage across 
the Niagara gorge. No other system of bridge building yet de- 
vised, could cope with the large span of 800 feet, which was 
there absolutely called for, irrespective of the other difficulties 
alluded to. 

Where such spans are demanded, no design of "beam" with 
which I am acquainted would be at all feasible. The tube, trel- 
lis, and triangular systems are impracticable, in a commercial 
sense, and even as a practical engineering question, the difficul- 
ties involved are all but insurmountable. 

Over the St. Lawrence, we are, fortunately, not compelled to 
adopt very large spans ; none so large in fact, as have been 
already accomplished by the simple " girder " system. It is un- 
der these circumstances that the suspension principle fails in my 
opinion to possess any decided advantage in point of expense ; 
whilst it is certainly much inferior, as regards stability for rail- 
way purposes. The flexure of the Niagara Bridge, though really 
small, is sufficiently indicative of such a movement amongst the 
parts of the platform as cannot fail to augment where wood ia 
employed, before a long time elapses. 

I beg that this observation may be not considered as being 
made in the tone of disparagement : on the contrary, no one 
appreciates more than I do the skill and science displayed by 
Mr. Roebling in overcoming the striking engineering difficulties, 
by which he was surrounded. I only refer to the question of flex 
ure in the platform as an unavoidable defect in the suspension 
principle, which, from the comparatively small spans that are 
available in the Victoria Bridge, may be entirely removed out of 

I am, Gentleman, 

Your obedient Servant, 




This Deed, made the 29th day of September, in the year of our 
Lord 1853, by and between the Grand Trunk Railway Company 
of Canada, of the first part ; and William Jackson, of Birken- 
head, and Samuel Morton Peto, Thomas Brassey, and Edward 
Ladd Betts, all of London, in England, Contractors, and doing 
business in Canada as Contractors, under the name and style of 
u Jackson, Peto, Brassey, & Betts," of the second part. Where- 
as, by an Act of the Parliament of the Province of Canada, pass- 
ed in the sixteenth year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Vic- 
toria, and intituled, " An Act to provide for the construction of 
a General Railway Bridge over the River Saint Lawrence, at or 
in the vicinity of the City of Montreal,' the Grand Trunk Rail- 
way Company of Canada are authorised and empowered to con- 
struct a Railway Bridge to be called and known as " The Vic- 
|l toria Bridge," across the River Saint Lawrence, from some point 
in the City or Parish of Montreal, above the point known as the 
11 Rousseau Migeon," to some point in the Parish of Saint An- 
toine de Longueuil, or in the Parish of Laprarie de la Madeline 

And whereas the said Grand Trunk Railway Company of Ca- 
nada have determined to avail themselves of the powers and 
provisions in the said Act contained, and for that purpose have 
agreed with the said parties of the second part, that they, the 
said parties of the second part shall build and construct a Tu- 
bular Bridge across the River Saint Lawrence as aforesaid, and 
other works connected therewith,according to the plans, sections, 
and specifications hereinafter mentioned, and on the terms and 
within the time hereinafter mentioned. 

And whereas the said parties hereto of the second part (here- 
inafter called the Contractors) have agreed with the said the 
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, that they, the said 
Contractors, will make, build and construct the said tubular 
Bridge over the said River Saint Lawrence, at or near Montreal 
as aforesaid, and other works connected therewith as hereinafter 

8S hunter's hand book of 

mentioned, according to the plans, sections, and specifications 
prepared and drawn by Robert Stephenson, of London, aforesaid 
Civil Engineer, M. P., and Alexander McKenzie Ross, of Montreal 
Civil Engineer, and either annexed hereto, or endorsed so as to 
refer to this Contract or Agreement upon the terms and condi- 
tions and for the price hereinafter mentioned. Now, therefore, 
this Deed witnesseth that it is hereby agreed by and between the 
said the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada, of the first 
part, and the said Contractors for themselves, their heirs, exe- 
cutors, and administrators, of the other part, in manner follow- 
ing : that is to say, that they, the said Contractors, will make, 
build, construct, and complete the said Tubular bridge over the 
River Saint Lawrence, and other works at or near Montreal as 
first above mentioned, at such point as shall be selected therefor 
by said Robert Stephenson and Alexander McKenzie Ross, 
with all the works necessarily or properly appurtenant thereto, 
in accordance with the said plans, sections, and specifications 
hereunto annexed or referring hereunto by endorsement or with 
any subsequent alteration or modification thereof as hereinafter 
mentioned, and in accordance with any additional plans, 
sections, or specifications as also hereinafter mentioned. 
The Bridge when completed to be in perfect repair, and of 
the best and most substantial character, and to be approved 
by said Robert Stephenson. That the Contractors shall, in 
case the payments hereinafter stipulated for are duly and punc- 
tually made, complete the said Tubular bridge and deliver it over 
to the Company ready for the laying the said Railway thereon, 
within eight years from the first day of July, 1853, subject how- 
ever, to such extension of time, if required by the Contractors, 
as the said Robert Stephenson or such other Engineer to be ap- 
pointed as hereinafter mentioned, shall fix and determine. And 
the said Company hereby undertake to apply for and obtain 
from the Provincial Parliament of Canada powers to extend the 
time for the completion of the bridge, in conformity with this 

That the said Robert Stephenson and Alexander McKenzie 
Ross shall have the location of the Bridge, and shall select and 
determine the point at which the Bridge shall cross the River, 
and the line or course in which it shall be made, the said selec- 
tion and determination to be made in accordance with said Act 


and the provisions thereof, and that the said Robert Stephenson 
and Alexander McKenzie Ross shall have liberty to make such 
alterations and modifications as they may jointly agree and think 
proper in all or any of the plans and sections and the specifica- 
tion, and may draw and prepare such farther or additional plans 
and sections, specifications, and detail plans of construction as 
they may jointly agree on and think proper. 

That for and in consideration of the Contract sum of £1,400,- 
000, sterling, the Contractors take upon themselves all ordinary 
risks and contingencies, including that of any extra expense by 
reason of any alteration or modification of the plans, sections ? 
and specifications, not involving additional expenditure, and sub- 
ject to the award of the said Robert Stephenson or such other 
Engineer, to be appointed as hereinafter mentioned, as to whether 
the Contractors are to be entitled to any and to what amount of 
extra payment up to the sum of £100,000, sterling, for any ex- 
traordinary circumstances or contingencies which may arise 
during the progress of the works, and which the said Robert 
Stephenson or such other Engineer as aforesaid, may consider 
entitles the Contractors to extra payment. 

And the said " The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Cana- 
da," the parties of the first part, agree and covenant with the 
Contracters, their executors and administrators, that for the ex- 
ecution and construction by them of the same Tubular Bridge 
and other works, in accordance with and upon the terms and 
conditions of this Agreement, and of the plans, sections, 
and specifications before mentioned, that they, the said " The 
Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada," will pay the said 
Contractors the said price or contract sum of £1,400,000, 
sterling, and also such additional sum not exceeding in the 
whole the sum of £100,000, sterling, as shall be awarded by the 
said Robert Stephenson or such other Engineer as aforesaid. 

That the mode of payment shall be as follows : — 

When and so soon as the said Robert Stephenson and Alexan- 
der McKenzie Ross, or either of them, shall certify that the Con- 
tractors have bond fide expended £50,000, sterling, in land, work, 
or materials, or plant brought upon or near the line of the pro- 
posed bridge, the Company shall pay to the Contractors in cash 
the amount so certified, less £10 per cent, which the Company 

shall retain in their hands as a reserve, and at the end of one 


90 hunter's hand book of 

calondar month from the date of such certificate, the said Robert 
Stephenson and Alexander McKenzie Ross, or either of them; 
shall certify the value of the work done, and materials or plant 
brought from or near the line in such previous month, and the 
Company shall pay to the Contractors in cash the amount so 
certified, less 10 per cent, as before, and so on, at the end of 
each successive calendar month, until the amount reserved by 
and retained in the hand3 of the Company shall amount to the 
sum of £25,000, sterling, after which the whole of the amount 
certified shall be paid to the Contractors, without any reserve 
whatsoever j and upon the completion of the work and the giv- 
ing of the final certificate of the said Robert Stephenson and Alex- 
ander McKenzie Ross of the completion of the said Bridge, the 
Company shall pay over to the Contractors in cash the amount 
so reserved and retained, and balance of any remaining in their 
hands of the said Contract sum. 

That the Engineer of the Company shall, as soon as the site of 
the Bridge is fixed, agree with the Contractors upon a Schedule 
in sections on which the various advances and payments on ac- 
count shall be made, which, when so agreed, shall become a 
part of this Contract. 

And it is hereby declared and agreed, that in case of the death, 
refusal, or inability to act of the said Alexander McKenzie Ross, 
another Engineer shall from time to time be appointed by the 
said Robert Stephenson in place of, and who shall have all the 
powers of the said Alexander McKenzie Ross, and all acts, mat- 
ters, and things which under this agreement then remained to be 
done bythe said Robert Stephenson and Alexander McKenzie Ross 
shall be done by the said Robert Stephenson, and such other En- 
gineer to be from time to time appointed by him ; and in the 
event of the death, or refusal, or inability to act of the said 
Robert Stephenson, then all things then remaining to be done 
by the said Robert Stephenson shall be done by an eminent Civil 
Engineer, to be appointed by the President for the time being, of 
the institution of Civil Engineers, in England, upon the requi- 
sition of the parties hereto, or either of them. 

That if any question or difference of opinion shall arise between 
the parties hereto as to this agreement, or any matter connected 
therewith or arising thereout in any way, every such question 
or difference of opinion, as often as any such shall arise, shall be 


referred to the absolute decision of the said Robert Stephenson, 
as sole arbitrator, or in case of his, death to the decision of an 
eminent Civil Engineer, to be from time to time appointed by 
the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, in England 7 
and the decision of the said Robert Stephenson, or of such Engi- 
neer to be so appointed, shall be binding and conclusive upon 
both parties as to the question or difference of opinion so re- 
ferred to him. 

That the parties hereto will make and enter into all such 
deeds and other instruments as may be necessary for giving 
effect to such reference, and will also enter into all deeds which 
may become necessary or expedient in fully carrying out the 

That whenever in this Contract the words "the Contractors" 
are used they shall mean William Jackson, Samuel Morton Peto, 
Thomas Brassey, and Edward Ladd Betts, or the survivors or 
survivor of them, or three out of four of them, or two out of three of 
them, or the executors, administrators, or asisgnees of the survi- 
vor ; and in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of any one 
or more of them, their or his assignees shall be excluded from all 
control or interest in this Contract; and when any act is to be 
done by the Contractors it shall be sufficient if done by or by the 
authority of the majority of them, or by the majority of the sur- 
vivors of them in person, or acting under power of Attorney 
from each to the other, or by the survivor or survivors of them 
or by his executors, administrators, or assigns. 

In witness whereof, the said " The Grand Trunk Railway 
Company of Canada," the parties of the first part, have hereunto 
affixed their common Seal, and the parties of the second part 
have hereunto set their hands and affixed their Seals, the day 
and year first herein above written. 

Signed, sealed, and delivered (in duplicate), in presence of 

S. M. PETO, [L S.] 


The Seal of the Grand Trunk Railway Company of Ganada, 
was hereunto affixed by me, 



92 hunter's hand book of 

Specification referred to in foregoing Contract. 

This structure, as designed, extends to a length of nine thou- 
sand four hundred and thirty-seven feet from one extreme end 
to the other, and consists of twenty-five openings, spanned by 
wrought-iron beams, resting upon solid pieces of limestone ma- 
sonry, and at an elevation in the centre opening (which is three 
hundred and thirty feet wide) of sixty feet clear height above 
the summer water level, from thence descending at the rate of 
one in one hundred and thirty to either end, which terminates, 
at a level twenty-four feet below that of the centre. 

The Contract comprehends the supply of all materials, the 
construction and completion of that portion extending from the 
shores of the river to the abutments of the Bridge, consisting 
principally of stone embankments. 

The construction and completion of twenty-four piers or tow- 
ers and two abutments of limestone masonry, and the construc- 
tion and completion of the wrought iron superstructure, extend- 
ing to a length of six thousand five hundred and seventy-six feet. 
Also, the construction and completion of the permanent way 
extending the whole length of the Contract. 

The raising and final erection on the piers, the painting and 
the entire completion of all the iron, wood, and stone work de- 
scribed in the following specifications and accompanying draw- 
ings, together with all works incidental to snch construction 
and completion, and which may not be particularly described. 

All temporary erections in staging machiner} r , floating craft, 
and every appliance requisite for carrying on the works in the 
most approved and systematic manner to be provided ; and du- 
ring any operations connected with the execution of the works, 
which may impede or interfere with the navigation of the river, 
or which operations maybe interfered with by anything passing 
on the river, the Contractors shall adopt all such precautions 
by lights and signals, or by the use of boats, hulks, booms, or 
fenders, or by any other means for the protection of the public 
■using the river, or of the works of the Bridge, as shall be reason- 
ably necessary, as also for securing the works while in progress 
from any injury they may at any time sustain from vessels navi- 
gating the St. Lawrence, or from storms or any other cause 
likely to damage the works. 


And any damage or injury which may at any time be sustain- 
ed from any cause whatever, to be at the risk of the Contractors, 
who will be bound to make good the same at their own cost, 
save and except such damage as may arise from tempest or any 
act of God, not to be provided against by a reasonable amount 
of human caution. 

The whole of the works herein referred to, as well as the 
mode of execution, is to be under the entire control, supervision 
and direction, and is to be constructed to the entire satisfaction 
of the Engineers, who shall have full power to alter, enlarge, or 
diminish the forms, dimensions, positions, or quantities of any of 
the works not involving extra expenditure in the whole ; and 
if during their progress any imperfection shall appear in any 
part of the works, it shall be immediately repaired and made good 
under the direction and to the satisfaction of the Engineers. 

The whole of the works of the Contract to be completed with- 
in the period of eight years from the first day of July, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and fifty-three. 

Approaches. — One thousand three hundred and forty-four feet 
at the north, and one thousand and thirty-three feet at the south 
end, are to be constructed of solid embankments composed of 
stone, to the average height of thirty feet above summer water 
level, and of the width of thirty feet on the upper surface, formed 
with a slope of one to one on the down-stream side, and a slope 
of two and a half to one on the upper side, — as shown on the 
drawings detailing in this portion of the work. 

All loose materials and debris of every description being first 
removed and cleared from the surface of the rock forming the 
bed of the River upon which the structure is founded. 

The masonry forming the approaches and abutments to the 
Bridge erected on the above, is to be composed of Limestone 
Ashlar in large blocks. 

All the beds and vertical joints to be square-dressed in the 
most efficient and workmanlike manner. The external face of 
the masonry to be rough, and without any pick or tool marks 
of any kind. The natural quarry-face, in all cases, to be preserv- 
ed, excepting in the string-courses and copings, which are to be 
fair pick-dressed throughout, and neatly jointed and weathered 
where required, and a tool-draft eight inches wide on each 

94 hunter's hand book of 

The masonry of tho piers of the Bridge being built in eight to 
twelve feet depth of water, must necessarily be set by means of 
the diving-bell or otherwise, as directed ; for the employment of 
which proper means and appliances must be provided, and on a 
scale commensurate with the magnitude of the undertaking and 
the rate of progress required. 

The masonry of the piers to be constructed of the form and di- 
mensions set forth in the drawings detailing the same. When 
each of the piers respectively has been brought up to the sur- 
face water-level, all irregularities in the upper bed of the mason- 
ry are to be rectified, and prepared level and square for the 
succeeding course. 

The cut-waters and the sides of the piers,to the height of thirty- 
two feet above summer water level, are to be dressed smooth on 
the face, so as to present the least obstruction to the ice or, any 
other masses floating down the stream ; and above this level the 
face of the masonry is to be left rough as from the quarry, with 
a tool-draft eight inches wide on each quoin. 

The horizontal and external vertical beds and joints, in all 
cases, to be smooth, dressed and truly fitted in every particular, 
so as to ensure the most solid and compact mass. 

Dowels to be introduced wherever directed in the blocks form- 
ing the cut-water to the piers, and iron ties and holding-down 
bolts to be also used as may be directed, as further precaution 
for securing this part of the masonry. 

The blocks of limestone to be of the largest dimensions obtain- 
able in the quarries, commencing with the thickest at the found- 
ations, and gradually diminishing as the masonry advances to 
the top. Recesses to be left in the piers, as shewn upon the 
drawings, for the purpose of facilitating the fixing of the iron 
superstructure. The face of the recesses to be smooth dressed, 
so as to present an even and uniform surface. The mortar used 
to be of the best hydraulic lime, and mixed in a rolling mill, with 
such proportion of clean, sharp sand as may be found to produce 
the most effective cement. The bed of the River being formed 
of flat bedded limestone of generally uniform surface, a secure 
foundation is readily obtained ; but in some instances a lift of 
from two to three feet may occur within the area of a Pier found- 
ation, and in such case these inequalities are, by means of blocks 
of masonry filling the same, to be brought to a general uniform 



level, and each course thereafter must be of a uniform thickness 
throughout, and the blocks made to fit so close one to the other 
as to insure the most perfect and secure description of masonry, 
for which purpose every appliance in diving-bell and other ap- 
paratus must be amply provided, and also superintended by 
well-known experienced workmen, previously accustomed, by 
practical training, to operations of the kind required. The ma- 
sonry of any Pier, once commenced, must be proceeded with 
uninterruptedly, until it reaches the height of thirty feet above 
summer water-level, and as much more as may be deemed ne- 
cecesary to insure its safety throughout the winter season, when 
all building operations must necessarily be suspended, and dur- 
ing which time all unfinished works must be protected from the 
weather by such precautions as are usual and proper for effect- 
ing such purpose. Any part of the Masonry suffering from 
winter exposure to be restored properly and made good in a 
satisfactory manner. 

Iron Work. — The superstructure of the Bridge is to be com- 
posed of wrought-iron beams, of the form and dimensions and 
various thicknesses of metal indicated upon the drawings. The 
holes to be punched with proper machinery adapted to such pur- 
poses ; and the rivetting also, as far as practicable, to be per- 
formed by proper machinery, so much of the revetting as must 
necessarily be performed by hand to be executed in the most 
effective manner. All the iron to be of the best boiler-plate 
iron capable of bearing a tensible strain of twenty tons per 
square inch ; any plate which may be found not to come up to 
this standard shall be rejected. All the plates shall be rolled 
perfectly level, and all buckle removed previous to rivetting 
them ; they shall everywhere gauge the thickness or correspond 
in weight to the thickness specified ; to be truly sheared so as 
to form perfect butt joints. The angle and T irons shall be rolled 
of the section shewn in the drawings ; all the rivets to be of the 
very best iron used for such purposes, commonly called Scrap 
Iron, and of the dimensions set forth in the drawing. All the 
rivet holes to be truly punched and correspond fairly with each 
other and where required to be rimered previous to rivetting. 
All the plates to be well brushed over with a mixture of linseed 
and boiled oil in equal quantities ; such process to take place 
while the plates are hot, and after having been passed through 

96 hunter's hand book of 

the roller for the last time. On no account is any plate, angle, 
or T iron to be used without having previously received this 
coat, nor are they to be used in a rusty or dirty state. Cast-iron 
bed plates to be provided for the friction rollers, to be furnished 
with wrought-iron frames and turned friction rollers, of the di- 
mensions and forms described upon the drawings. Lintels of 
wrought or cast iron as may be hereafter directed, to be pro- 
vided for bearing th,e tubes and covering the recesses in the ma- 
sonry of the Piers, for facilitating the construction and lifting of 
the tubes. The timber, iron rails, and other fastenings required 
to complete the permanent way, to be provided and fixed as 
shewn in the drawings. Timber, wheresoever used in bedding 
the tubes, or in the roadway sills, is to be creosoted under pre- 
sure, after it has been converted. All the iron work of the 
tubes to be properly stopped and painted, inside and out, in 
three coats of patent white zinc paint. All surfaces that have 
to be rivetted in contact with each other shall be well painted 
before being so rivetted. 

The Engineers, or any person appointed by them for the pur- 
pose, shall have free access at all times to the works where the 
manufacture of any of the materials required in this Contract 
shall be carried on, for the purpose of inspecting and properly > 
testing, by any means he may think proper, all or any 
of such materials and workmanship, and the strength and qua- 
lity of any manufactured parts of the work. All the materials 
and workmanship, as well as the mode of constructing and 
erecting, shall be such as the Engineers may approve of. 

The drawings and specifications are intended to give a gene- 
ral description of the work, and to define the quantity, quality, 
and character of the same, and the mode in which it is to be 
carried on and completed ; but many details which may arise in 
the execution must unavoidably be omitted, and some be erro- 
neously described. Further drawings and directions will from 
time to time be given with reference to some parts, with 
the object of securing the best materials and workmanship, and 
the most perfect construction of every part of the Bridge, to be 
formed and completed according to the general design above 
described and shewn in the drawings attached. The Contrac- 
tors to provide copies of the drawings and specifications for their 
own use, and to set out the work and take the necessary meas- 


urements and levels, and to make all such working drawings 
and drawings of details as may be necessary for the execution of 
all the works ordered from general drawings and directions fur- 
nished originally, or from time to time by the Engineers. 

Free use of the Province Lands to be given for the construc- 
tion of the Bridge, and also for getting timber, stone, or other 
materials, for the works, and the full powers of the Company to 
be put in force for the benefit of the Contractors when required. 

The leading dimensions of the Bridge are as follows : — 

Feet. Inches. 
No— 24 Openings or Spans, of 242 feet each 5,808 

1 Centre do 330 

2 Centre Piers, of 27 feet each 54 

2 Large do of 25 do 50 

2 do do, of 23 do 46 

2 Small Piers, of 17 feet 8 inches each 35 4 

2 do do of 17 do 4 do 34 8 

2 do do of 17 do do 34 

2 do do of 16 do 4 do 32 8 

2 do do of 16 do do 32 

2 do do of 15 do 8 do 31 4 

2 do do of 15 do do 30 

2 do do of 14 do 8 do 29 4 

2 do do of 14 do 4 do 28 8 

2 Abutments, of 242 do do 484 

2 Approaches | J^ J° ° J| } 2,377 

Total length 9,437 

Depth of Tube at abutments, seventeen feet, increasing to 
twenty-two feet in the middle. 

Clear height above summer water-level, sixty feet in the mid- 
dle, falling at the rate of one in one hundred and thirty towards 
the ends. 

98 hunter's hand book op 

The following is a portion of the Report of the Eng- 
lish Engineers who came out to examine the Victoria 
Bridge, at the request of Mr. Stevenson, prior to its 
opening for traffic : — 

Montreal, 17th Dec, 1859. 
To the Chairman and Directors of the Grand Trunk Railway 
Company of Canada, London. 

Gentlemen, — As you may be aware, the Victoria Bridge was 
designed to sustain practically a load of one ton per foot run of 
its entire length, which load, added to the weight of the tubes 
themselves, it was intended should cause a horizontal tensile 
strain of five tons per square inch, and a compressive strain of 
four tons per square inch ; and the load applied as a test was as 
near the above load as could possibly be provided. For the 
purpose of registering the deflections of the various tubes, a steel 
wire extending throughout the entire length of the bridge was 
strained as tightly as possible, being supported at every bearing 
of the tubes over pulleys with heavy weights attached, so as to 
keep an equal amount of tension upon it. 

This steel wire formed the datum line, from which all the de- 
flections were measured and marked on slips of card attached 
to vertical staves which were fixed up at various points along 
the tube. The train forming the testing load was sufficiently 
long to cover a pair of tubes from end to end, and it was first 
run on to one tube when observations were registered both in 
that tube and the adjoining empty one also, which was of course 
affected owing to its connection with the loaded tube. 

As the effect produced was the same in all the ordinary pairs 
of tubes, it will only be necessary to give you the observations 
taken in one pair, which were as follows : — 

While the load was in the first tube only, the deflection of that 
tube in the middle was seven-eighths of an inch, and the adjoin- 
ing empty one was lifted in the middle three-eighths of an 
inch. The load then being placed over both tubes the deflec- 
tion was the same in each, and was three-fourths of an inch in 
the middle ; and when the load was run on to the second tube 
only, the effect on the two tubes was similar to that in the first 

We next tested the large central span, which is quite un- 
connected with any other tube, and with the load extending from 


end to end, caused a deflection of one and three-eighths of an 
inch in the middle. 

In all the experiments, the tubes returned to their original 
position when the weights were removed. 

The result of the test applied to the whole of the 24 tubes 13 
highly satisfactory, inasmuch as the actual deflections were 
considerably within the calculated deflections, for such a load, 
according to formula, well known and generally made use of. 
We therefore consider the tubes excessively strong as regards 
the load they are designed to carry. 

And we attribute this to the perfect manner in which they 
have been rivetted and fitted together, and the excellent quality 
of the iron of which they are composed. 

In the 330 feet (central) tube, the smallness of the deflection 
is very remarkable, it being but little over five-eighths of the 
calculated deflection. 

It is worthy of remark that it was a difficult matter to make 
up a train weighing the enormous load of one ton per foot run, 
and it was just as much as three large engines could do to pro- 
pel it. Such a load surely never can pass through the bridge 
in the ordinary way of traffic. 

The works required yet to be done to complete the Victoria 
Bridge are, the laying about 250 lineal feet of coping on the 
south approach, and fixing the iron caps to 22 piers. 

And we beg to say, in conclusion, that when these small mat- 
ters are completed, we should recommend the Board of Directors 
of the Grand Trunk Railway Company to accept the Victoria 
Bridge from the hands of Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts, the 
Contractors, as being completed, satisfactorily, and according 
to the true spirit and meaning of the contract. 

We are, gentlemen, yours, &c, 

(Signed) J. B. BRUCE, 



Having perused the foregoing report, I have much pleasure in 

adding, at the request of Mr. Bruce, that I was present and took 

part in the experiments undertaken with a view of testing the 

sufficiency of the tubes, and that I concur in every detail as 

given in the report. 






The celebrated Lord Bacon has written, that biography may 
be said to follow, observe, and see individuals in all places, and 
in every instant of their lives, offering examples profitable to 
men in all conditions, and furnishing to the moralist matter for 
profound meditation. 

Perhaps the history of two men connected by the nearest ties 
of blood, have never been recorded by the pen of a biographer, 
affording more matter for reflection and encouragement to ge- 
nius than the lives of George and Robert Stephenson; com- 
mencing with the father, who started from the lowest step of 
the ladder to Fame, and ending with the son, on the very pin- 
nacle of the Temple. Their names, too, have descended to pos- 
terity — unlike the great philosopher just mentioned, and other 
geniuses whose lives have been clouded with some dark spots — 
pure and spotless, and unsullied by any transaction, the 
world is aware of, that would cause the reader to sigh for the 
weakness of humanity. 

As the lives of the two Stephensons would afford matter for 
volumes, all, therefore, that the reader can expect in a work of 
this description, limited to space, is a mere outline of their bio- 
graphies ; the lines without the lights and shadows to make a 

It is well known that the father of the late Robert Stephen- 
son was the offspring of humble but honest parents. " Honest 
folks were they," says a neighbour in his rough Northumbrian 


dialect, "but they had little to go and come upon, and were 
sore haudden doun in the world." They had six children, of 
whom George, the second son, was born on the 9th June, 1781, 
in a small clay-floored house in the village of Wylam, in which 
lived four families. 

The poor man when wages were but 12s. a week, and bread 
at war prices, can little afford to let his children run idle, and 
little George, at an early age, was engaged to take care of a 
few cows, whose owner had the right of grazing them on the 
waggon roads, and to close the gates after the last waggon 
had passed ; for this duty he received the recompence of two 
pence per day, As he grew in youth and his legs were long 
enough to straddle the furrows, we find him promoted, with dou- 
ble wages, to lead the horses at the plough, and other like work 
on a farm. • 

But as the lad grew in strength he became ambitious of higher 
things, and longed to become an engine man, like his father. 
He found employment in the colliery, and went through the 
several grades of promotion, from picking stones out of the 
coals to driving the gin horse, at the rate of eight pence a day. 
At fourteen he was taken by his father as assistant foreman. 

The boy was a hard working lad and industrious, but, with a 
natural bashfulness, he feared that the owner of the colliery 
would think him too small for the wages, and was in trepida- 
tion often, lest he should meet him on his rounds. 

George, however, soon out-grew all fears that his size would 
stand in the way of his promotion. In another year he grew 
to be a stout bony lad, who could lift a heavier weight and fling 
a hammer farther than any of his comrades. A laudable ambi- 
tion, however, must have been a ruling passion in his breast, for 
one Saturday night when he went to receive his wages, he was 
told they had been raised to the full sum of 12 shillings a week. 
The youth's heart bounded within him ; he felt that his industry 
and conduct had been appreciated, and he could not help exclaim- 
ing, as he left the foreman's office, " I am a made man for life !'' 
Another year passed away, bringing with it still further promo- 
tion. He was now employed to keep the engine in order and to 
superintend its working. The steam engine soon became his 
pet, and his leisure hours were spent in taking it apart, clean- 
ing and putting it up again. He soon understood it thoroughly, 

102 hunter's hand book of 

and was rarely obliged to summon the colliery engineer to rem* 
edy any defect. 

At eighteen George Stephenson was a full grown man, havinj 
the entire charge of a steam engine, and thorougly master of all 
its details of construction. Education in those days was rarely 
to be obtained by the working classes, and up to this date young 
George Stephenson had never learned to read. The youth's 
heart, however, yearned after knowledge. A poor schoolmaster 
taught a school not far from the colliery. Thither George re- 
paired three evenings in the week, after 12 hour's hard work, 
and in a year, at a cost of three pence per week, he had learned 
to read and to write his name. To reading and writing he deter- 
mined to add arithmetic. His master set him sums on his slate 
to be wrought out at odd moments during the day. In the 
evening he took back the solutions for examination, and received 
new problems for the next day. In a short time he mastered 
the first four rules of Arithmetic, and reached the magic " Rule 
of Three," and beyond this the humble acquirements of his 
teacher did not extend. 

But, although engaged 12 hours daily at his engine, devoting 
considerable time to the improvement of his mind from 
the slight education he had received from the humble school- 
master, George still found leisure for other employments of a 
lighter kind, and, for the time, of a more profitable nature. We 
read of his following the trade of St. Crispin, as well as 
that of a tailor, and no doubt the trifling sums thus obtained 
were expended in books. By night, in his humble home, — he 
having become a married man at the age of twenty, — he tried, as 
best he might, to master the principles of mechanics. Like 
many other self-taught mechanics, he worked at Perpetual Mo- 
tion and of course failed. Accident, however, put him in the 
way of turning his mechanical skill to advantage. Coming 
home one night, he saw a sad scene of confusion. The cottage 
chimney had been on fire ; the neighbours had extinguished it 
by pouring down water, and the little room had been flooded. 
Worst of all, his fine eight-day clock stood still, the hand 
mutely pointing to the hour of the disaster. The mingled soot 
and steam had found its way within the case, and clogged and 
rusted the wheels and pinions. He was told that he must call 


on the watchmaker to repair the damage. No, he would do it 
himself and save the money. 

He tried — succeeded — and the clock was soon working away 
as merrily as ever. The fame of the exploit was bruited abroad, 
and before long all the dilapidated time-keepers of the neigh- 
bourhood were sent to him to be repaired. 

In the third year of his marriage he met with a sad domestic 
bereavement in the loss of his wife. She left behind her one son, 
called Robert, who afterwards became the first engineer in Eng- 
land, and the architect of the famous Britannia Bridge over the 
Menai Straits, and of the more celebrated Victoria Bridge, across 
the St. Lawrence. 

Soon after the death of his wife, George Stephenson was in- 
vited to Scotland to take charge of an engine at a higher rate 
of wages. But his heart yearned for his old home and mother- 
less boy, and he returned, after a year's absence, with twenty- 
eight pounds in his pocket. 

He found himself sadly needed at home. His father, old 
Robert, had been terribly scalded and rendered totally blind by 
an explosion in the colliery. With filial affection he devoted 
more than one half of his savings to pay his father's debts, and 
established him in a cottage near his own, and was thence for- 
ward his sole and willing stay and support. The old man lived 
for many years blind, bat cheerful to the last, and gladdened 
with the filial affection and the rising fortunes of his son. 

The wars of the Great Napoleon, in which all Europe took a 
part, caused heavy taxes, high prices, and uncertain work, and 
pressed hard upon the working classes. England had 700,000 
soldiers under arms, and the whole country was drained of its 
hardy sons. George Stephenson was drawn for the militia, and 
it cost him the remainder of his savings to purchase a substitute. 
Happy for the world that it was so. The humble engineman 
was the last man that England could afford to lose. 

At last the golden opportunity came ; u there is a tide in the 
affairs of man, which, if taken at the flow will lead on to for- 
tune." George Stephenson seized the advantage, and his after 
life was one successful career. At the time we speak of he was 
thirty years of age. 

Close by the pit where he worked a wealthy mining Company 
had sunk a new pit and erected an engine to pump out the 

104 HUNTERS hand book of 

water. The engine hissed and played, but there was something 
wrong. " She could not keep her jack head out of water." " All 
the engine men in the neighbourhood had tried, but were clean 
bet." For a whole twelvemonth George Stephenson had seen 
the smoke from the engine rising over the hill, but to every en- 
quiry he received the same answer, " They were drowned out." 
He revolved the matter in his mind until he was satisfied that 
he had discovered the cause of failure, and one Saturday after- 
noon he walked over the hill to take a look at affairs. 

" Weel, George," asked his friend Kit Keppel the u sinker," 
il what do you mak o' her ? Do you think you could do any- 
thing to improve her ?" 

" Man, I could alter her and mak her draw ; in a week's time, 

I could send you to the bottom." 

This reply having been made known in the proper quarter, a 
fair trial was given, " and if successful," said the " viewer," {( I'll 
make you a man for life." In three days after the engine had 
been taken down and the alterations made. On the fourth day 
it was set to work, and accomplished in two days what all the 
engineers in the neighbourhood could not get the engine to do 
in a twelvemonth. 

For this he received ten pounds and a better situation. Not * 
long after, the enginewright of the " Grand Allies " died, and the 

II viewer," true to his promise, appointed him to the vacant post 
with a salary of a hundred pounds a year. 

We find him after this, being in better circumstances, engaged 
in curious mechanical contrivances. But among all his mul- 
tifarious occupations, he lost no opportunity of carrying on his 
neglected education. 

The son of a neighbouring farmer was well versed in arith- 
metic and knew something of mechanics and natural history. 
George soon learnt from him all that he knew. 

He now placed his only son at the best school in the neighbour- 
hood, and from him the father was not ashamed to take lessons. 
On Saturday the lad brought home books from the neighbouring 
library. The son inherited the talent of the father and was al- 
ways desirous of reducing his scientific requirements to practice. 
He invested his pocket money in half a mile of copper wire, one 
end of which he attached to a kite string while the other was 
fastened to the garden palings, where his father's pony was 



hitched. An opportune thunder-cloud passing, young Bob seized 
the occasion for verifying Franklin's famous experiments by 
bringing the wire in contact with the tail of the pony, whose 
plunging and kicking gave evidence of the success of the young 

The father scolded a little, but chuckled inwardly at this prac- 
tical result of his son's scientific enquiries. 

About this time fearful explosions of " fire-damp " were con- 
stantly occurring in the collieries. One day, in 1814, the deep- 
est part of the colliery took fire. The miners were hurrying in 
terror to the shaft. As George Stephenson touched the bottom, 
he shouted u Stand back ! Are there six men among you who 
have courage to follow me ? If so, come, and we will put out 
the fire." His voice reassured the men, and they followed him. 
Brick and mortar were at hand. In a few minutes a wall was 
built up at the mouth of the burning shaft and the air excluded, 
by which means the fire was extinguished. But several miners 
were suffocated in the recesses of the mines. 

" Can nothing be done to prevent such occurrences ?" asked 
<one, as he and Stephenson were searching for the dead bodies. 

" I think there can," replied George. 

" Then the sooner you start the better," was the reply, " for 
the price of coal-mining now is pitmen's lives." 

Stephenson had for some time been engaged in making expe- 
riments upon coal-damp. These were now prosecuted with 
fresh zeal. In a few months he had devised his safety-lamp, and 
tested it in most dangerous situations. Sir Humphrey Davy pro- 
duced his lamp about the same time. Both lamps were identical 
in principle, but neither inventor had any knowledge of the 
labors of the other. A controversy sprung up in consequence. 
A testimonial of £2000 was presented to Davy. The northern 
coal-owners raised half as much for Stephenson. 

In the mean time the greater portion of his time was devoted 
to the subject of steam engines and railways, the intimate con- 
nection between which had begun slowly to dawn upon him. 

Railways of rude construction had existed for centuries in the 
coal districts, where heavy loads had to be hauled for short dis- 
tances on wooden rails covered with plate iron. 

Engines had been made to run on common roads. In 1811, 
Mr. Blakinsop of Leeds made some improvements in-locomo- 

106 hunter's hand book of 

tives. One of them, the " Black Billy," ran upon the Wylan 
road, which passed the cottage in which Stephenson was born. 
It was a cumbrous affair, often taking six hours to go five miles, 
constantly getting out of order, and running off the track, so 
that horses had to be sent along with it to help it out of diffi- 
culty. No wonder that the workmen pronounced it a " perfect 
plague." No body at the time supposed that a locomotive with 
a smooth driving-wheel running upon a smooth rail could draw 
a load. It was assumed that the wheels would slip upon the 
rail and the machine consequently stand still. The driving- 
wheel was therefore fitted with teeth which worked in cogs in a 
rail laid by the side of the smooth rails upon which the carriage 
wheels ran. 

George Stephenson had in the mean time been brooding ove 
the subject of travelling engines, and declared he could make a 
better. He had by this time gained credit, as an ingenious ma- 
chinist, and Lord Ravensworth, the proprietor of a coal mine, ad- 
vanced money to enable him to make the experiment. This 
engine the colliery people called " Blutcher." 

Blutcher was an improvement upon Black Billy, for he could 
draw a train at the rate of three miles an hour. Stephenson, 
also, by experiment, satisfied himself that a smooth wheel would , 
hold upon a smooth rail, hence the toothed wheel and cogged 
rail were dispensed with. 

Several improvements were afterwards made by Stephenson 
to this engine, by which its effective power was doubled. But 
although the success of the locomotive was thus established, 
years elapsed before it was adopted on another road. 

Speculative men at last turned their attention towards rail- 
ways. Foremost amongst these was a Mr. Pease, a wealthy 
quaker, who had, with some difficulty, procured the passage of 
a bill for constructing the Stockton and Darlington Railway, 
for the passage of waggons and other carriages by " men and 
horses or otherwise. 11 This was about the year 1821. 

Mr. Pease paid a visit to Killingworth to see Bluctcher, and 
was convinced of the engine being more economical than horses. 

George Stephenson was employed by him to make a new sur- 
vey of the road — for so far had his engineering studies brought 
him — and to construct the locomotives by which it was to be 


There was not at this time in England an establishment ca- 
pable of making a locomotive. Stephenson proposed to set up 
such a factory. 

The thousand pounds which he had received for his u Safety- 
Lamp," and an equal sum furnished by Mr. Pease, sufficed to 
set up the " Newcastle Engine Factory." 

The Stockton and Darlington road was soon opened for traffic, 
and on this occasion one of Stephenson's locomotives drew a 
train weighing 90 tons, 8| miles in 65 minutes. Thus far it 
was a decided success, though on a limited scale. But a new 
struggle and decided victory were in store for him. 

For years the want of adequate communication between Man- 
chester and Liverpool had been severely felt. Trade had out- 
grown the capacity of canals. It required more time to convey 
a bale of cotton from Liverpool to Manchester than now from 
New York to Liverpool. 

The Manchester spindles stood still for want of the cotton 
which was piled up in the Liverpool warehouses. At length 
some bold speculator suggested that railways could carry cotton 
and cloths as well as coals. So a plan was formed for a rail- 
way between Manchester and Liverpool ; and the preliminary 
surveys were made, in spite of the determined opposition of the 
canal proprietors, and of the fox-hunting squires. The rural squires 
were told that the engines would kill pheasants and frighten 
foxes, so there would be an end of shooting and hunting. Farm- 
ers were assured that cows would not graze nor hens lay near a 
railroad ; and timid old ladies were warned that their houses 
would be burned down by the sparks, and themselves poisoned 
by the pestilential smoke from the engines. 

In fact, the country people of England were in as great dis- 
may as a late M. P. P. of Canada, who solemnly declared in the 
House of Assembly, that the engines of the Grand Trunk Rail- 
way would frighten away all the milk from the cows. Every 
opposition that could possibly be offered to the construction of 
railroads in England was brought to bear against the scheme # 
George Stephenson was summoned before the committee of the 
House of Commons, and a dead set made against him by the 
lawyers. He was asked all sort3 of relevant and irrelevant 
questions. Would any railroad bear a train of forty tons moving 
twelve miles an hour? Had he ever witnessed such a velocity ? 

108 hunter's HAND BOOK ov 

Would not rails bend ? Would not trains turn off the track 
Would they not overturn when rounding a corner? If an en- 
gine going at the rate of twelve miles an hour should encountei 
a stray cow, wouldn't it be awkward ? " Very awkward for 
the coo" replied Stephenson. 

The philippics of Demosthenes or the orations of Cicero were 
naught compared with the eloquence brought to bear against 
railways; and more money was spent in lawsuits, in consequence, 
than would have built the whole line from London to Liverpool. 

Even the famous Dr. Lardner, who subsequently immortalized 
himself by mathematically demonstrating that the Atlantic 
could never be profitably crossed by steam, brought his ponde- 
rous science to war against what he styled the " destruction of 
atmospheric air." 

But the bill nevertheless passed, and the road was rapidly 
urged forward under the charge of George Stephenson, who was 
appointed chief engineer. 

When the road was far advanced, a question arose whether it 
should be worked by stationary engines or by locomotives. 
Every scientific engineer was in favor of the former. Vallance 
affirmed that locomotives could never draw as fast as horses. 
Tredgold was sure that stationary engines would be safer and 
cheaper. Two distinguished engineers were deputed to look 
into the question. They did so, and reported that stationary 
engines would be in every way best. 

Stephenson stood alone in favor of locomotives. He saw that 
railways and locomotives were inseparable parts of one great 
system. They were, as he phrased it, " husband and wife." He be- 
sought the directors at least to give the locomotives a fair trial be- 
fore embarking in the cumbrous stationary system, and pledged 
himself to construct an engine which should meet all reasonable 
requirements. The main conditions were that the engine should 
not weigh more than six tons, and should be able to draw a 
load of twenty tons, ten miles an hour. A prize was offered to 
any party who should construct the best engine subject to those 
conditions. Stephenson's famous " Rocket " alone fulfilled the 
conditions. It was first: the rest were nowhere. It attained an 
average speed of fifteen miles an hour, and at times gained the 
hitherto unheard of velocity of twenty-nine miles. His honest 
friend Cropper, who had advocated the stationary system, was 


astounded. " Now," be exclaimed, lifting up his hands, — "now 
is George Stephenson at last delivered." 

The great battle had indeed been won by George Stephen- 
son. The railway system had been inaugurated ; a new imple- 
ment had been put into the hands of civilization, the mightiest 
she had received since the invention of printing. 

Here ends the epic interest of a life which was happy and 
prosperous to its close. He had attained well-deserved honors 
and fortune ; and, finally, as age gathered around him, retired 
gracefully from active life, to that serene quiet which befits a man 
whose life's task has been worthily accomplished. Like many 
great men of science and literature, he was particularly fond of 
dumb animals, and took especial delight in his garden and con- 
servatory. Nor was he indifferent too ldpursuits. He was ever 
ready to lend a helping hand to inventors who deserved assis- 
tance. His heart was benevolent, and his purse was open to his 
old fellow-workmen whom age had left, as youth found them, in 

He died on the 12th August, 1848, in the sixty-seventh year of 
his age. 


The early history of Robert Stephenson is intimately blended 
with that of his father, whom he ably assisted in the elaborate 
calculations which were necessary for his purposes. Indeed, 
through life the old man was accustomed to refer to his son for 
any subtle theoretical elucidation he might want, as well as for 
literary help on important occasions when he had to put his 
views on paper. But our space will not permit of our entering 
into the details of the life of this truly great man. 

Robert Stephenson was born at Willington, Northumber- 
land, on the 16th of November, 1803. His father, who had felt 
the want of an early education, resolved that his son should not 
suffer from the same cause, and accordingly, though at the time 
he could ill afford it, sent him to the school at Long Benton, and 
in 1814 placed him with Mr. Bruce at Newcastle. Robert soon 
displayed a decided inclination for mechanics and science ; and, 
becoming a member of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical 




Institution, was enabled to take advantage of its library ; so that 
as the Saturday afternoons were spent with his father, the vol- 
ume which he invariably took home with him, formed the sub- 
ject of mutual instruction to father and son. Robert's assiduity 
attracted the attention of the Rev. Wm. Turner, one of the secre- 
taries to the institution, who readily assisted him in his studies, 
and was, also, of much service to his father, with whom he soon 
after became acquainted. Under Mr. Bruce, Robert acquired the 
rudiments of a sound practical education, and, under his father's 
direction, was always ready to turn his acquirements to account. 
There still exists in the wall over the door of the cottage at Kil- 
lingworth a sundial of their joint production, of which the father 
was always proud. 

In 1818 Robert was taken from school and apprenticed to 
Mr .Nicholas Wood as acoal-viewer, a cting as under-viewer ; and 
he made himself thoroughly acquainted with the machinery and 
the processes of coal-mining. In 1820, however, his father being 
now somewhat richer, he was sent to Edinburgh University for a 
single session, where he attended the lectures of Dr. Hope on 
chemistry, those of Sir John Leslie on natural philosophy, and 
those of Professor Jamieson on geology and mineralogy. He 
returned home in the summer of 1821, having gained a mathe- 
matical prize, and acquired the most important knowledge of 
how best to proceed in his self-education. In 1822 he was ap- 
prenticed to his father, who had then commenced his locomotive 
manufactory at Newcastle, but, after two years' strict attention 
to the business, finding his health failing, he accepted, in 1824, 
a commission to examine the gold and silver mines of South 
America ; whence he was recalled by his father when the Liver- 
pool and Manchester Railway was in progress, and he reached 
home in December, 1827. He took an active part in the discus- 
sion as to the use of locomotives on the line, and, in conjunction 
with Mr. Joseph Locke, wrote an able pamphlet on the subject. 
He also greatly assisted his father in the construction of the suc- 
cessful engine, which was entered in his name, though he him- 
self ascribed the merit entirely to his father and Mr. Henry Booth, 
on whose suggestion the multitubular boiler was adopted. 

Robert Stephenson's next employment was the execution of a 
branch from the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, near War- 
rington, now forming a portion of the Grand Junction Railway, 


between Birmingham and Liverpool. Before this branch was 
completed, he undertook the survey, and afterwards the con- 
struction, of the Leicester and Swannington Railway ; and on 
the completion of that work he commenced the survey of the 
line of the London and Birmingham Railway, of which he was 
ultimately appointed engineer, and removed to London. Under 
his direction the first turf was cut at Chalk Farm on June 1, 
1834, and the line was opened on Sept. 15, 1838. Fully aware 
of the vital importance of obtaining good means of rapid transit, 
he still continued to devote much of his time to improvements 
in the locomotive engine, which were from time to time carried 
out under his direction at the manufactory in Newcastle, which 
for some years was exclusively devoted to engines of that class, 
and still supplies a larger number than any other factory in the 
kingdom, independently of many marine and stationary engines. 
His engagements on different lines of railway afterwards became 
very numerous ; but he was more remarkable for the magnificent 
conceptions and the vastnsss of some of his successfully executed 
projects, such as the High-level Bridge over the Tyne at New- 
castle, the viaduct (supposed to be the largest in the world) over 
the Tweed valley at Berwick, and the Britannia tubular bridge 
over the Menai Straits, — a form of bridge of which there had been 
previously no example, and to which, considering its length and 
the enormous weight it would have to sustain, the objections and 
the difficulties seemed almost insuperable .With the assistance, 
however, of Professor Hodgkinson, Mr. Edward Clark, and Mr. 
Fairbairn, in exneriments on the best forms of the various 
portions of the structure, the difficulties were triumphantly over- 
come, and in less than four years the bridge was opened to the 
public, on March, 18, 1850. 

Robert Stephenson was also employed in the construction of 
many foreign railways. He was consulted, with his father, as to 
the Belgian lines ; also for a line in Norway between Christiania 
and Lake Miosen, for which he received the Grand Cross of the 
Order of St. Olaf from the King of Sweden ; and, also, for one 
between Florence and Leghorn, about 60 miles in length. He 
visited Switzerland for the purpose of giving his opinions as to 
the best system of railway communication. He designed and 
constructed, for the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, the Vic- 
toria tubular bridge over the St. Lawrence, near Montreal, on 

112 hunter's hand book of 

the model of that over the Menai Straits. It is not long since he 
completed the railway between Alexandria and Cairo, a distance 
of one hundred and forty miles. On this line there are two tu- 
bular bridges, — one over the Damietta branch of the Nile, and 
the other over the large canal near Besket-al-Saba. The peculi- 
arity of the structure is that the trains run on the outside upon 
the top of the tube, instead of inside. He was constructing an 
immense bridge across the Nile at Kaffre Azzayat, to replace the 
present steam-ferry, which was found to interfere too much 
with the rapid transit of passengers. 

In addition to his railway labours, Robert Stephenson took a 
general interest in public affairs and in scientific investigations. 
In 1847 he was returned as member of Parliament in the Conser- 
vative interest, for Whitby, in Yorkshire, for which place he con- 
tinued to sit until his death. He acted with great liberality to 
the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society, paying off in 

1855 a debt amounting to £3000, in gratitude, as he expressed 
it, for the benefits he derived in early life from that establishment, 
and to enable it to be as practically useful to other young men. 
He most liberally placed at the disposal of Mr. Piazzi Smyth his 
yacht and crew to facilitate the interesting investigations under- 
taken by that gentleman at the Island of Teneriffe, and very I 
valuable results have been obtained. He was an honorary but 
active member of the London Sanitary and Sewerage Commis- 
sions ; a Fellow of the Royal Society ; a member of the Institu- 
tion of Civil Engineers since 1830, of which institution he was 
member of council during the years 1845 to 184*7, vice-president 
during those from 1848 to 1855, and president during the years 

1856 and 1857. He received a gold medal of honour from the 
French Exposition d'Industrie of 1855, and is said to have de- 
clined an offer of knighthood in Great Britain. He was also the 
author of a work " On the Locomotive Steam-engine," and 
another " On the Atmospheric Railway System," published in 
4to. by Weale. 

Mr. Stephenson left no family behind him. His wife (the 
daughter of Mr, Sanderson, insurance-broker, of Old Broad- 
street) died many years ago, and he remained a widower. 

Robert'Stephenson was beloved by all who knew him. He 
was a most generous man, without a particle of meaness in 
his nature. He was generous to his contemporaries and asso- 


ciates, and kind and forbearing to those who were under him. 

He was withal modest and retiring, avoiding ovations where he 

j could, and shunning publicity. Above all, he was an honest 

j man. What was said of his father might with equal truth be 

said of him, — tc He was one of nature's gentlemen." 

The remains of this distinguished engineer were laid by the 
side of Telford in the nave of Westminster Abbey. The obsequies 
may be said to have approached to the character of a public 
funeral, from the spontaneity, numbers, and influence of the 

An immense crowd had assembled around the precincts of the 
Abbey, where the hearse arrived at twelve o'clock. A procession 
was then formed into the Abbey, led by the High Bailiff of West- 
minster, whose silver staff of office was draped by a black scarf. 
The singing-boys folowed, their college caps draped in mourning. 
The singing-men wore black scarfs over their surplices. Then 
came the senior Canons, and afterwards Canons Jennings, Cure- 
ton, and Repton. The Dean of Westminster and the Very Rev. 
Chenevix Trench, D.D., followed ; and then came the Mayor and 
the Sheriff of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in their scarlet robes. The 
coffin was of highly-polished oak, profusely ornamented by gilt 
) nails, escutcheons, &c, and covered by a heavy silk pall. The 
pall-bearers on one side were the Marquis of Chandos, chairman of 
the London and North- Western Railway ; Sir Roderick Murchi- 
son, F.R.S., President of the Royal Geographical Society ; and 
Mr. George Carr Glyn, M.P., first chairman of the London and 
North-Western Railway. The pall-bearers on the other side were 
Mr. Joseph Locke, M.P.; Mr. Beale, M.P., chairman of the Mid- 
land Railway; and Mr. George Rennie, C.E. Mr. Stephenson, 
the nephew of the deceased and his nearest male relative, fol- 
lowed as chief mourner, and to him succeeded a long train of 
mourners, in hatbands and scarfs, comprising the names best 
known in the railway and engineering world. The great wes- 
tern door of Westminster Abbey is never open except at the 
funeral of persons of Royal blood, or of those to whom the nation 
has decreed the honours of a public funeral. The procession, 
however, went from the door in the south aisle to the western 
door, and then directed itself along the whole length of the nave 
to the choir. The choir commenced by singing " I am the Resur- 
rection and the Life" (Purcell), and, thus chanting, the proces- 


hunter's hand hook of 

sion passed within the screen to the choir, where the corpse foi 
a short time was deposited. The sentences, "I know that nr 
Redeemer liveth," and " We brought nothing into this world," 
were also chanted by the choir, accompanied by the organ. 
The 90th Psalm was then chanted to one of Purcell's chants. 
The Rev. Mr. Hayden, Precentor, then read the lesson, " Now is 
Christ risen from the dead ;" after which the choir sang Handel's 
funeral anthem, " Where the ear heard him." The procession 
then re-formed, and returned to the grave ; the clergy and choris- 
ters forming on the west, and the mourners on the south side. 
Several ladies belonging to Mr. Stephenson's family, in deep 
mourning, now joined the mourners. The choir hereupon sang 
the affecting passage, " Man that is born of woman." The dull 
sound of earth thrown upon the coffin was then heard, and the 
Dean uttered the impressive words, ''Forasmuch as it hath pleased 
Almighty God to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother 
here departed, we commit his body to the ground ; earth to 
earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust." 

The choir then sang with great sweetness, " Blessed are the 
dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labours,'* 
and Handel's beautiful anthem, " His body is buried in peace, 
but his spirit liveth for evermore." The Dean read the prayer, 
" We give Thee hearty thanks for that it hath pleased Thee to 
deliver this our brother out of this sinful world," and the service 
concluded with the Dead March in Saul by the organ. 

The chief mourners then mounted the platform of earth and 
looked down into the shallow grave in which all that is mortal 
of Robert Stephenson reposes. The coffin bore the inscription, 
" Robert Stephenson, M.P., civil engineer, D.C.L. and F.R.S., 
born on the 16th of November, 1803 ; died on the 12th of Octo- 
ber, 1859." The coffin of Mr. Telford was distinctly visible; and 
thus the two engineers who have spanned the Menai Straits, the 
one by the road and the other by the rail, slept side by side. 

On the day of the funeral, the ships in the Thames lowered 
their flags in token of respect for the deceased ; and at Gates- 
head, Newcastle, Shields, Sunderland, and Whitby, most of the 
places of business were closed in the afternoon. The ships carried 
their flags half-mast high, and muffled peals of bells rang from 
the church belfries. 




Portland (Maine), Quebec and Kiviere-du-Loup (Lower 

Canada), in the East, 


London (Upper Canada), and Detroit (Michigan), in the 



Montreal, Brockville, Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, Port Hope, 

Toronto, Guelph, and Sarnia. 



Ottawa City, Perth, Peterborough, Hamilton, Niagara Fall3, 
Buffalo, Collingwood, Port Stanley, Goderich, &c. ; 


Detroit Junction, Ogdensburgh, Danville Junction, and Portland, 









Trains going Bast, West, North, and South. 


By the opening of the "Victoria Bridge," the Grand Trunk 
Railway offers unequalled facilities for the transmission and the 
delivery of Freight ; there being but two transshipments between 
Cincinnati or Chicago and Europe, and one only between the West 
and Canada, fyc. 

The first-class Steamships of the Montreal Ocean Steamship 
Co.'s Line, carrying the " Canadian" and "United States" Mails, 
sail every Saturday from Portland in Winter, and Quebec in 
Summer, for Londondery and Liverpool, on arrival of trains from 
the East and the West. 

For full information and Tickets, apply at the Offices of 
Connecting Lines, and at Grand Trunk Depots. 


General Manager, 
July 1860. 



OBSERVE -—The Trains between Montreal, Toronto, 
and Quebec, are run by Montreal time ; those between 
Toronto, London, and Sarnia, by Toronto time ; and 
those between Portland and Island Pond, by Portland 











Pointe Claire 


Detroit Junction 


St. Anne's 


Utica Plank 




Mount Clemens 


Coteau Landing 


Beebe's Corner 




Port Huron 


Summers town 


Sarnia, ?t. Edward 






Dickinson's Landing 


















Prescott Junction 


St. Mary's 





























































Pope Hope 












Main Line. — Continued, 








Port Whitby 


Port Union 


Duffin's Creek 


Frenchman's Bay 




Duffin 7 s Creek. 


Port Union 


Port Whitby 

















Port Hope 






Mai ton 
















Acton West 








































St. Marys 





Prescott Junction 
















Dickinson's Landing 










Port Huron 




Beebe's Corner 


Coteau Landing 


Mt. Clemens 




Utica Plank 


St. Anne's 


Detroit Junction 


Pointe Claire 





REFRESHMENT ROOMS at Point St. Charles, Cornwall, 
Kingston, Cobourg, St. Mary's and Sarnia. 



Main Line. — Continued, 






ccs in 


ces in 







St. Lambert 




St. Hilaire 




St. Hyacinthe 


Yarmouth Junction 


Britannia Mills 


New Gloster 




Danville Junction 




Mechanic Falls 








South Paris 




Bryant's Pond 


Brompton Falls 


















Berlin Falls 






Boundary Line 


West Milan 


Island Pond 




North Stratford 


North Stratford 




Island Pond 


We^t Milan 


Boundary Line 






Berlin Falls 


















Brompton Falls 


Bryant's Pond 




South Paris 








Mechanic Falls 




Danville Junction 




New Gloster 


Britannia Mills 


Yarmouth Junction 


St. Hyacinthe 




St. Hilaire 




St. Lambert 







Main Line. — Continued. 








Point Levi 




Chaudiere Junction 








Craig's Road 




Black River 




Methot's Mills 










Methots Mills 




Black River 




Craig's Road 








Chaudiere Junction 




Point Levi 



These Trains connect with trains leaving Montreal for Toronto 
and the West at 8*15 A.M. and 6.00 P.M. 
Time allowed for Rrefreshments at Richmond. 



Station to 





Station to 




Point Levi 

St. Paschal 



St. Henry 



R. Ouelle 



St. Charles 



St. Rochs 



St. Thomas 









St. Thomas 



St. Rochs 



St. Charles 



R. Ouelle 



St. Henry 



St. Paschal 



Point Levi 


General Managei\ 
pass through the VICTORIA BRIDGE. 




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McMillan's, and all other British Magazines, 
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Illustrated News & British Newspapers. 


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Strangers visiting the City are respectfully invited to call.] 








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world, will give equal prominence to the BRITISH COLONIES, 
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English and American Publishers, is prepared to supply the 
Public with the various Monthlies and Quarterlies so soon as 
issued. Orders for back numbers of Papers and Periodicals 
promptly attended to. All parcels will be delivered at the 
residence if required. 

Orders for Books, &c, sent to New York or Boston daily ; 
to England every Friday. 


Montreal, July, 1860. 






I\» jB -A. L IE S T .A. T E> 



St. Sacrament Street, near the Exchange, 


John Leeming. William Nivin. 







Opposite the Post Office, 

N.B. — Sterling Exchange and United States Drafts 

Bought and Sold. Collections made throughout 

the Canadas. Investments Found and 

Loans Negotiated. 


Hon. PETER McGILL, President Bank of Montreal. 

H. THOMAS, Esq., [Bruyere, Thomas & Co.] 

Wm. WORKMAN, Esq., President City Bank. 

Wm. MOLSON, Esq., President Molsons Bank. 

Alex. SIMPSON, Esq., late Cashier Bank of Montreal. 

Montreal, 16th July, 1860. 

G2 125 






English and Foreign Drugs, Chemicals, Patent Medicines, Surgical 
Instruments, Fine Perfumery and Druggists' Sundries. 


N. B. — The following certificate will in future be pasted 
round the neck of each bottle. 

I hereby certify, that having disposed of my right and interest 
in the business of ALFRED SAVAGE & CO. to my late part- 
ners and assistants, Messrs. 
Lamplough & Campbell, they 

alone are possessors of the /ce&faej) L/tl<K-*t^? 
right and process for prepar- 


Lubin's Extracts, 60 varieties. 




Tooth Powders. 

Fancy Soaps, finest quality, in great 

"Winter & Thompson's Rypophagon. 
Patey's Tarnsparent Soaps. 
Hooper's Cachous and Pastilles. 
Jean Marie Farina's Finest Cologne. 
Jos. Ant. do. in Wicker. 
Rose and Orange Flower Water. 
Finest quality English & French 

Hair Brushes, 150 patterns. 
Tooth and Nail Brushes. 

Badger Hair Shaving Brushes. 
Turkey, Trieste and Venetian 

Alpaca and other Sponge Bags. 
Toilet Bottles. 

Silver Mounted Smelling Bottles. 
Tortoise Shell Combs, rich patterns, 

and in great variety. 
Buffalo Horn Combs. 
India Rubber " 
Horn " 

Fine Ivory " 
Puffs and Puff Boxes. 
Nipple Shells, Shields and Teats. 
India Rubber Rings. 
Feeding Bottles. 
Breast Pipes and Breast Pumps. 
Toilet Powders, &c. 


Beranger's Patent Balances ; DuBarry's Revalenta Arabica Food; 
Rimmel's Toilet Vinegar and Perfumery ; Phillip's White 
Wax, warranted pure ; Pulvermacher's Hydro-Electric 
Chains ; Davis & Kidder's Magneto-Electric Ma- 
chines ; Bradley's Albatum ; Condy's 
Disinfecting Fluid. 

Montreal, July, 1860. 





And General Importers of 

& mm 

185 Notre Dame Street, East Side, 



McD. M & Co., have much pleasure in informing visitors to Mon- 
treal, that their stock is replete with novelties from the 

f rjfoji & tatatttal ffefete, 

Comprising in part : — Irish Tabinets, Moires Antiques, Flounced 
Silk Robes, Mantles, Broche and Tartan Wool Shawls, all Wool 
Plaids, Gents' Long Scotch Shawls, Dress Goods in every 
variety, Alexandre's Kid Gloves, Hosiery, &c. 

— also — 


In every Variety. 


Montreal, July, 1860. 

185 Notre Dame Street, 


182 Notre Dame Street, 





®"^ y$ST mI a tU w*i 



The Subscriber imports his goods in such quantities as to 
enable him to avail himself of the producers' lowest prices, and 
by conducting his business on Cash principles, he can offer in- 
ducements both to Wholesale and Retail purchasers which 
would otherwise be out of his power. 

He would call particular attention to his stock of PAPER 

HANGINGS which is the 




Montreal, July, 1860. 





Keep constantly on hand a large and -well assorted stock of 


every other description fashionable in Europe, United States or 

For guarantee of excellence in workmanship we need only 
refer to the fact of our having been awarded Diplomas and 

Medals at 

The London Exhibition in - - 
The Paris Exhibition in - - 
The Provincial Exhibition in - 
The Provincial Exhibition in - 

- 1851. 

- 1855. 

- 1850. 

- 1853. 

We keep a large and varied assortment manufactured and im- 
ported direct from the most celebrated makers in London, Paris 
and New York. 
Always on hand a large and very extensive stock of 

ihbiam cuaaosms 


In Bark and Bead work, Snowshoes, Moccasins, Toboggans, Ac. 

N.B. — J. H. & Co., will be happy at all times to exhibit their 
stock to the travelling public. 

Every article sold at their establishment warranted as repre- 



Notre Dame Street, 


Takes leave to inform the Public that he has resumed the man- 
agement of this much 


Established by him in 1850. 

It is now furnished throughout anew with the most modern* 
and costly furniture in a style second to no other Hotel on the 
Continent; and its pleasant situation in Notre Dame Street, 
between the Military Parade Ground {Champ da Mars,) the 
Government Garden on the one side, and Dalhousie Square 
and the Government and Departmental Offices and Public 
Buildings on the other, render it a desirable residence both for 
purposes of pleasure and business travel. 

The Subscriber, in returning thanks for the unprecedented 
patronage always conferred on him, begs to assure the public 
that he will use every possible exertion to merit a continuance 
of the favors which it is his pride and pleasure to acknowledge 
as having been heretofore received from Foreign, American, and 
Provincial pleasure Travellers, from members of the Government 
and both Houses of the Legislature, Military and Departmental 
Officers, and the travelling community in general. 

G. F. POPE. 

Montreal, July, 1860. 





Respectfully invite STRANGERS and OTHERS visiting the 

City to inspect their Stock of 

QQfcB III mill WATPGH1& 




Especially got up in anticipation of the festivities in honor of 

His Royal Highness the 


Fine Electro Plated Ware in all its varieties, — 







Of various Patterns of THEIR OWN Manufacture, 

Stereoscopes, and views of all countries, especially Canada. 
Fine Cutlery, Razors, Scissors and a variety of Fancy Goods, 
forming the richest, and most extensive Stock in Canada. 

— ALSO,-— 

In Silver, Bronze, and Metal. 









Direct importations — connexion with some of the First Houses 

in Europe — a long experience in the business, and the 

weekly arrival of Steamshps to this Port, enable me to 

place before my customers the LARGEST & 

CHOICEST Assortment of 

tk auk fjwjitmaik ffiuuoto*, 

In this line to be found in Canada. 

Every description of LACE and EMBROIDERY from the least 
expensive article of BRITISH MANUFACTURE, to the more 
costly and recherche of the CONTINENTAL FABRICS. 

The attention of MILLINERS and MERCHANTS generally, 
is invited to the advantages of a Choice Assortment at all 
seasons, supplied direct from the FIRST MARKETS, and of- 
fered at the 




Montreal, July, 1860. 




Manufacturers of Clothing, 



Keep constantly on hand a carefully selected Stock of 

From the well known character of their house, they flatter them- 
selves that it is unnecessary to say anything about the price, 
style, or make of* their garments. 

They beg to call the special attention of Country Merchants 
to their stock of 


from the facilities they possess for the purchase of goods in 
the English market, as well as in Boston and this City, to- 
gether with the great care and practical skill brought to bear 
on their manufacture, they are satisfied that they will com- 
pare favourably with any goods of the kind in Canada, and 
will be offered on 



Montreal, July, 1860. 


T. D. HOOD, 


And Importer of the best American 


MBLOBEONS, &c, &c. 


ihi mm 





9 ^& \t\ o 9 


Constantly on hand at his Warerooms, 


Montreal, July, 1860. 


Organ and Harmoneum Manufactory, 

(Established in 1836,) 
Corner of St. Joseph and St. Henry Streets, 


Mr. Warren having recently enlarged his Establishment, is 
now prepared to furnish every description of Church Organs. 
Harmoneums and Melodeons. FOR DURABILITY, PURITY OF 
TONE AND POWER, he is confident from over thirty years' 
experience that his Instruments can compete with those made in 
in any other Manufactory, Foreign or Domestic. 

Orders for Organs of the largest capacity filled with all 
promptness and dispatch. 


Montreal, July, 1860. 135 

E««M!K BTISffiMMl 



mtahgw, & fiapmerijjpw, 

in all their various styles of finish, 


either single or in groups, taken at the establishment, or at 


imampt ©Mns ai SEWrtal $ § itit% 

Particular attention paid to taking Family Groups either for 


Cabinet Size Parlour Pictures. 


Montreal, July, 1860. 




John Mathewson 8c Son 

Have constantly on hand, of their own Manufacture, an 
extensive stock of the different qualities of 


STEAM REFINED PALE SOAP, unrivalled for family use. 

LIVERPOOL SOAP, warranted superior to any of the imported 


Special attention is invited to their 

Mason's Patent Sperm Oil, 

Now so extensively used by Railroad and Steamboat Companies. 


No. 1 Lard Oil. 

Winter Pressed Sperm " 
" " Elephant " 

Winter Pressed Whale Oil. 
Solar Sperm " 

Machinery M 













Connecting twice each day with 


Vermont Central, and Rutland and Burlington 


This Route is a delightful one for the Pleasure Tourist, or Business Tra- 
veller, cembining comfort with ease, elegance, safety and dispatch ; 
affording the quickest Lines to the Cities of NEW YORK and BOSTON, 
and the only Route to 


Two trains daily between Montreal, and New York, and Boston 
Sleeping cars on night trains. No changes. fc^No other day line. 

Connection at St. Johns 'with the Stanstead and Shefford Rail 
Road for Farnham, Granby, Waterloo, Lake Magog &c. 


Montreal to Boston, 

" New York, by Railroad, 

" " Steamers & Railroad, . . . 

" Lake George, 

11 Saratoga, 

13 hours 
15 " 
24 " 
8 « 
11 <• 

Office of the Montreal and Champlain Railroad Company, 

No. 64 Commissioners' Street, 

Opposite the Quebec Steamboat Basin . 

W. A. MERRY, Secretary 




I fi 














(Late of the Royal Mail Steamer " BANSHEE") 

Will leave Gillespie's Wharf, QUEBEC, every TUESDAY 
and FRIDAY MORNING, during the Season, at EIGHT 
o'clock, for the 




AT QUEBEC ; in every instance, the Steamers are brought alongside 
of each other. 

This Splendid Steamer, is built in water-tight compartments, of great 
strength, and equipped with every appliance for safety, and acknowledg- 
ed to be one of the best Sea-Boats afloat. She is fitted up WITH LARGE 
FAMILY STaTE-ROOMS, most comfortably furnished, and in every res- 

Stateroooms secured, and Tickets (giving ample time for Sea- 
Bathing, Fishing and Hunting) may be obtained, on application 
to C. F. MUOKLE at the Hotels, or at the Office, 40 McGill St. 


Montreal, July, 1860. 



Campbell, R., & Co., k on cover. 

Dawson, B., & Son, 120 

Doane, T. C, 136 

Donegana Hotel, » 130 

Grand Trunk Railway Company, 115-119 

Hand-Book of Victoria Bridge, 122 

Henderson, John, & Co., 129 

Holland, Richard, 128 

Hood, T. D., r. 134 

Hunter & Pickup, on cover. 

Lamplongh & Campbell, 126 

Leeming, John, & Co., 124 

Lovell, John, 121-122 

Mathewson, John, & Son, 13t 

McDunnough, Muir, & Co., 127 

McMillan & Carson, 133 

Merry, W. A., 138 

Miller, R. & A., on cover. 

Milloy, Alex., 139 

Molson, Alex., 125 

Montreal Carpet Warehouse, on cover. 

Montreal & Champlain Railway, 138 

Parkin, James, 132 

Pickup, E., 123 

Pope, G. F., 130 

Savage & Lyman, 131 

Warren, S. R., 135 



(FOUNDED 1860.) 



(23rd Vic, Cap. 13,) 



Adopted 11 1 h January , 1864. 

M. Loxgmoore £ Co., Gazette Steam Press, Great St. James Street. 




For the year 1864 ; 

fifoeted at the First Annual General Meeting of the incorporated Aigoci*,- 

tion held in December, 1863, and at the adjourned General 

Meetinj held in January, 1864. 





B. GIBB, ESQ. * 


W. H. A. DAVIES, ESQ. * 


(In their order of precedence.) 

Messrs. A. D. PARKER, * Messrs. P. REDPATH, t 





GEO. A. DRUMMOND. t D. A. P. WATT. * X , 




MR, T. D. KING. 

* Term of office expires 31st December, 1864. 
t Term ef office expires 31st December, 1865. 
I Appointed to replace B. Holmes, Esq., resigned. 



An Act to incorporate the Art Association of Montreal* 

[Assented to 23rd April, 1860.J 

WHEREAS the Right Reverend FrancisPream- 
Fulford, Lord Bishop of Montreal, the ble ' 
Reverend William T. Leach, and William H. A. 
Davies, Thomas D. King, and John Leeming, 
Esquires, and others, have by petition set forth, 
that they and others have lately formed them- 
selves into an Association for the encouragement 
of the Fine Arts by means of the establishment 
and maintenance, in so far as may be found 
practicable, of a Gallery or Galleries of Art, and 
the establishment of a School of Design, in the 
City of Montreal, and otherwise ; and that they 
are desirous of being enabled so to carry out the 
objects of such Association by means of a Charter 
of Incorporation, under the name of the " Art 
Association of Montreal;" And whereas, it is 
expedient to grant their prayer : Therefore, Her 
Majesty , by and with the advice and consent of 
the Legislative Council and Assembly of Canada, 
enacts as follows : 

1 . The said Francis Fulford, William T. Leach, The peti- 
William H. A. Davies, Thomas D. King, and John £°f rs 
Leeming, and all other persons who may, by virtue others 


iu te2* °^ ta * s ^ ct > re P" aee or ^ e un fted with them, shall 

be and they are hereby constituted a body politic 

Corpo- and corporate, under the name of the " Art Asso- 

^ CAnd ciation of Montreal/' for the ends aforesaid; and 

power*, under the said name may acquire, by any legal 

Property title whatever, such real estate as they may require 

tua^use. f° r tne ir actual occupation as such Association, 

and may sell and alienate any real estate held by 

them, and acquire other instead thereof for the 

Proviso: purposes of this Act ; and may acquire any other 

e8ta^enot re[ d estate or interest therein, by gift, devise or 

required bequest, and may hold such estate for a period of 

i0 me of not m <>re than five years, but the same or any part 

the »r or " or P or ^ on thereof or interest therein, which may 

por ion. ^ w ithin the said period have been alienated, 

shall revert to the party from whom the same 

was acquired, his heirs or other representatives. 

Adminis- 2. The Corporation shall have power to ad- 
affairs of mm ister their affairs by such and so many Coun- 
Oorpora- cillors and other officers, and under such restric- 
tions as touching their powers and duties, as by 
By-law in that behalf they may from time to time 
ordain ; and they may assign to any of such offi- 
cers such remuneration as they may deem re- 

Power to 3m The Corporation may make all such By- 
iAws e for laws, not contrary to law, as they shall deem ex- 
certain pedient, for the government thereof, — the main- 
'tenance and due regulation of any and every 
Gallery of Art, School of Design, Museum, Li- 
brary, Reading Room, or other subsidiary under- 
taking of like description, which they may find 
practicable and conducive to the encouragement 
of the Fine Arts, — the raising of capital by the 
issue of transferable shares or otherwise, — the 
conditions under which such shares shall be is- 

sued, and may be transferred or forfeited, and the 
administration of their affairs gneerally ; and may 
amend and repeal such By-laws from time to 
time, observing always, however, such formalities 
of procedure as by such By-laws, may have been 
prescribed to that end ; and generally shall have General 
all needful corporate powers for the purposes of purpose *< 
this Act. 

v., .. 

4. All the revenues of the Corporation, from He venue 
whatever source they may be derived, shall be ^| ^ 
devoted exclusively to the maintenance of theiely to 
Corporation, and of such undertakings as afore- purpose?, 
said, and to the acquisition, improvement and re- 
pair of the buildings and other real estate required 

to that end, and to no other purpose whatever. 

5. The Corporation on the one hand, and the Corpora- 
University of McGill College, or any other edii-cH p ™ y 
cational or literary or scientific Institution on the 1 "* 6 w . ita 
other, may at all times enter into and carry outstitutions 
any agreement which they may deem expedient, P °™^® 9 
with a view to co-operation in the care or use of 

their respective Galleries, Schools, Museums, 
Apparatus, or other Collections, or otherwise to 
the furtherance of the objects of the Corporation. 

6. The Corporation shall at all times, when To make 
thereunto required by the Governor, or by either the Un Le- 
branch of the Legislature, make a full return of» islature - 
their property, real and personal, and of their re- 
ceipts and expenditure, for such period and with 

such details and other information as the Gover- 
nor or either branch of the Legislature may re- 

7 # This Act shall be deemed a public Act. Public 




All persons who at any one time shall have contributed 
to the funds of the Association fifty dollars or more, shall 
be Life Members thereof; and all other persons who 
during the current or last expired financial year thereof 
shall have contributed to its funds five dollars or more, 
shall be Ordinary Members thereof, — but not entitled to 
vote as such, unless they shall have paid up such contri- 
bution for the current financial year. 


fthe annual psmfnfl. 

The Association shall hold an Annual Meeting at such 
place and hour as from time to time may be ordained by 
the Council thereof, on the second Thursday in December ; 
or, in case of failure to meet on that day, then on such 
subsequent day as may be ordained by the said Council ; 
and at such Annual Meeting any description of business 
of the Association may be transacted. 



Special Meetings of the Association for the transaction 
of business may be held at any time, at the same place 
and hour, or at such other place and hour as the Council 
may specially ordain, upon written requisition, either by 
the President, or by any two Councillors, or by any teji 
Members, for transaction of such business only as may 
be specified in such requisition. 

Meetings of the Association for other than business 
purposes, shall be held from time to time, and at such 
times and places as the Council may ordain. 


Noifce to be flftem 

Not less than three days' public notice shall be given, 
in at least two Montreal Newspapers, of every Business 
Meeting of the Association, whether Annual or Special. 



At all Business Meetings of the Association, fifteen 
Members qualified to vote shall be a quorum. 



gftjoummtnt of Jjttmfnss* 

All Business Meetings of the Association may be ad- 
jaurned by vote of a quorum present, but not otherwise ; 
and if such adjournment be for more than a term of three 
days, public notice shall be given thereof in the interval, 
in at least two Montreal Newspapers. 



j Election of ©tftccrs an* Councillors. 

At every Annual Meeting of the Association, or in 
case of failure to elect thereat, then at a Special Meeting 
to be held as soon as may be thereafter, — there shall be 
chosen by ballot by the Members present and qualified to 
vote, from among the Members of the Association, con- 
tributors to its funds of five dollars, or more, for the 
current financial year, a President, a Vice-President, and 
a Treasurer, to serve for one year ; and six Councillors to 
serve for the term of two years from the first day of 
January next after the proper day for holding such 
Annual Meeting and until their successors shall be elect- 
ed ; and the retiring Councillors, if otherwise qualified, 
shall always be eligible for re-election. The President, 
Vice-President, and Treasurer, shall be ex-officio mem- 
bers of the Council of the Association. 


fltocancfcs to tie ft'ilefc fig atotmcfl. 

In case of the death, resignation or disqualification of 
any Officer or elected Councillor, it shall be in the discre- 
tion of the Council to name another qualified Member of 
the Association to serve in his stead for the unexpired 
remainder of the term for which he was elected. 

IX. | 

No <£o)tttcUlov tntUUXi to bote tohUe in 


No Councillor shall be entitled to vote or act as such, 
while in arrear for his contribution for any past year, or 
(after the Annual Meeting of the Association) for the 
current year. 

X. J 

JfBUettng of CDoututL I 

Meetings of the Council shall be held whenever con- 
vened by the order of the President or of any two Coun- 
cillors, at such place and hour as from time to time may 
be ordained ; and may be adjourned when necessary. 


Jiottce of JWeetfngs 

At least three days' written notice of all such Meetings 
shall be given by the Secretary, to every Councillor* 

13 , 

©uorum of ©ouncrt. 

At all Meetings of the Council, five shall be a quorum. 


ffiorporate Sbeal 

The Corporate Seal of the Association shall be such as 
the Council may from time to time ordain ; and shall be 
in the official charge of the President. 


^resfomg ©fftcer. 

At all Meetings, whether of the Association or of the 
Council, the President, or in his absence the Vice- 
President, or in default of both President and Vice- 
President, the Senior Councillor present, shall preside,— 
and shall have a vote and a casting vote. 

fcj- The Senior Councillor shall be that one who stands first 
recorded among those who are serving as Councillors for the 
second year of their term of office ; and if none of those 
serving their second year be present, then he, among those serving 
their first year, who stands first recorded upon the minutes 
of election : and it shall be the duty of the Secretary in 
making up such record or minutes of election to enter the 
name of that Councillor first who receives the largest num- 
ber of votes. If two or more receive an equal number of 
votes, then that one is Senior and to be first recorded who 
has previously served longest as a Councillor. In case 
there should be equality in this respect, then that one is Senior 
who has been longest a subscriber to the funds of the Associ- 
ation; and in case of equality in this respect, seniority shall 
be determined by age. 



Butt; of ^resibent. 

The President shall in other respects exercise a general 
oversight of the affairs of the Association ; and in his 
absence, the Vice-President, — and in the absence of both 
President and Vice-President, the Senior Counc illor shall 
discharge his functions. 


©&e ^reasum. 

The Treasurer shall keep and submit for audit his 
accounts, and shall receive, deposit and pa y out moneys, 
in all things* as the Council shall ordain . 

The financial year of the Association^shall corres pond 
with the calendar vear. 


sbEcrttatj) an& appoint^ (©fftcets. 4 

The Council shall appoint a Secretary, one of whose 
duties it shall be to keep accurate records"of the transac- 
tions of the Association and of the Council; and such 

Secretary and all other Officers or employes of |the Asso- 
ciation jshall be named from jtime to time, as occas ion 
shall require, by the Council, to serve during their plea- 

■ (■WrfUi ■ ..■**— .umu — — - -it I'ff'lii rr narMrn - 

sure, and to discharge ^sucli duties and receive such 
remuneration as they may prescribe ; and shall be re- 
movable by the Council at pleasure. 



0o ©ounctllor to recefoe remuneration. 

No Councillor shall receive any remuneration for the 
discharge of any duty for the Association, whether as 
Councillor or otherwise. 

JWembers serbfng on ©ommittees. 

Any Member of the Association may be named by the 
Council to act on any Committee thereof, and while so 
acting shall have the same powers in all matters apper- 
taining to the business and duties assigned to such 
Committee, as any Councillor so named may have. 


acquiring antr disposing of Ural Estate. 

The Council shall have full power to acquire real 
estate for the Association, and to alienate the same; 
provided only, that for the acquiring of any real estate d 
litre onereuse, or for the alienating of any real estate so 
acquired, or of any real estate theretofore occupied for 
purposes of the Association, the concurrence of the majo- 
rity of the whole Council shall be requisite. 



3Pofoers of ©ounctl — Regulations 

The Council shall have full power in all other respect* 
to regulate and conduct all the undertakings and affairs 
whatsoever of the Association, — and to that end to pro- 
mulgate and enforce all such Regulations, whether general 
or special, not being inconsistent with any By-Law 
thereof, as they may see fit to ordain, and may amend all 
such Regulations at pleasure ; but all such Regulations 
and all Amendments thereof, shall be laid before the- 
Association, at latest, at the Annual Meeting thereof, next 
after their promulgation, and if disallowed by the Asso- 
ciation, shall thereupon become and be null and void. 
But such annulling shall not destroy the validity or ef- 
fect of anything previously done in good faith under- 
such Regulation. 

Jl roper tg to be Insured. 

It shall be the duty of the Council to keep all build- 
ings, works of art, books, and other property, belonging- 
to the Association, and also all property entrusted to it, 
at all times fully insured against loss by fire ; and in their 
Annual Report, to be submitted at every Annual Meeting 
of the Association, to state in full detail all their doings. 
whatsoever in respect of such insurance. 


Btpeal, amendment aulr enactment of 3^£am5. 

Any By-Law of the Association may be repealed or 
amended, or any new By-Law enacted, provided that 
snch alteration shall have first been sanctioned by a majo- 
rity of those present, at a Meeting of the Council, or at a 
Meeting of the Association, and finally ordained by both 
those bodies ; but no motion for the repeal or amendment 
of a By-Law, or for the enactment of a new By-Law, 
shall be finally put to vote at any Meeting of the Council, 
unless in virtue of an Order to that effect made at a pre- 
vious Meeting of the Council ; and whenever such Order 
shall have been made, the Secretary shall embody the 
terms of such motion in the notice to be given to each 
Councillor, convening the Meeting whereat the same may 
have been ordered for final vote ; and at such Meeting no 
amendment of such motion shall be allowed. 



fSffc &£$0Ci&ti9tt of 


Adams, John W • 
Alexander, Charles 
Adams, Francis 
Austin, H W. 
Atwater, Edwin 

Browne, Dunbar 
Browne, Jno Jas 
Bourassa, N. 
Bessunger, M- 
Bethune, Straehan 
Brown, J Champion 
Brewster, B. 
Brewster, C- 
Beaudry, Louis 
Bulmer, Henry 
Baker, J. C 
Benning, Jas 
Bowker, HN. 
Boutillier, Tancred 
Bagg, Stanley 
Berzcy, Wm. (D'Aiilebout) 

•Clarke, Arthur 
Clarke, Hugh 
€hilds, W S. 
<3ross, Alexander 
Carter, Edward 
Dhainberlin, B. 
C h apm an , He n ry 
Campbell, Major 
Cundill, Francis 
Crane, Thos A. 

Dawson, Benj & Son 
Durnford, G. 
Doucet, T. 
Davies, W. II. A. 
Dorman, S - W . 
Duncan, J. 
Dunkin, Christopher 
Day, CD- (Judge) 
Douglas, JasM. 
Drummond, Geo A. 
Dessaulles, Hon Mr 

Evans, J. Henry 
^sdaile, J. 
Evans r Thos A. 
-Elliott. Joseph 
English, S. 
Ermatinger, Wm. 
Einpey, Alex 

Fraser, John 
Freer, E S. 
Ferrier, G D. 
Fitts, Clarke, 
Fabre, Hector 
Fulford, F D. 
Frothingham, G H. 

Gibb, Beniah 
Graham, James 
Gale, Samuel, Hon 
Greenshields, W . G. 
Gibb, J D. 
Gould, Ira 
Galarneau, J. II. 
Greenshields, D. G. 
Grant, James 
Godfrey, R J, M D. 
Griffin, Fred. 
Greenshields, James G. 
Greene, N- 
Gardyne, J. W. 
Gordon, James 
Gordon, Thomas 

Kingston, W. H.,MD. 
Henderson, Alex- 
Hunt, Thomas Sterry 
Hunter, J S- 
Holmes, Benj 
Howard, Augustus 
Hooper, Augustus 
Heath, John 
Henshaw, F W*. 
Howe, II A- 
Holton, L- H.. Hon. , 
Hopkins. Jno W. 
Hilton, J. 
Hemming, Henry 
Hammond, R. 

Isaacson, R P. 

Kennedy, William 
King, HW. 
Kay, Frederick 
King, T. D. 

Leach, the Rev. Canon 
Lawford, Fredk 
Lyman, S Jones 
Logan, Sir Wm. 


Lovell, John 
Laflamme, K. 
Laflamme, G. 
Lain o the, G. 
Lowe, John 
Leeming, John 
Lambe, Wm. B. 
Logan, Jas 
Lam plough, II J. 
Lyman, Theo 
Low, Geo H. 

Moffatt, George, Hon. 
Moffatt, George, Jr. 
Molson, John 

Montreal, the Lord Bishop 
McCord, J. S., Judge 
Mitchell, Robt 
Malcolm, R A . 
Major, Jas C E- 
Mavor, Jas 
Mathews, F B. 
Mathews, Geo 
Martin, Geo. 
Morland, Thos 
MacDonnell, R L, M D. 
Monk, John 
Mitchell, Alexander 
Moody, William 
Mulholland, Henry 
McKay, R. 
Mackenzie, Gordon 
Murray, William 
Muir, James 
Murphy, Edward 
Morgan, Felix 
McArthur, John 
Mailhot, J. E. 
McKay, Henry 
Macdougall, D. L. 
Mathewson, Hugh 
Milloy, A. 
Morris, Robert 
Moore, Luke 

Notman, William 
Notman, N. J. 
Notman, William, Senr. 
Nordheimer, Samuel 
Nevin, William 

Ogilvie, John 

Pell, Augustus 
Penn, Turton 
Prowse, G. B. 
Pickering, W. B. 
P killips, J. F. 

Pritchard, Col. 
Parker, A. Davidson 
Penner, John 
Paton, Stevenson 
Popham, J. 
Perrault, H. M. 
Plimsoll, John 
Ross, David A. 
Ross, D. 
Routn, H. L. 
Rae, Wm. 
Ross, Jas M. 
Ryland, Geo H. 
Rimmer, Thos 
Ryan, Thos, Hon. 
Ramsay, A. 
Robertson, And. F. W r . 
Robertson, Duncan 

Stevenson, Louis A. 
Stodart, D. W- 
Scott, Wm. 
Scott, T. S. 
Seymour, M. H. 
Simpson, George 
Stephens, Wm . 
Savage, Alfred 
Smith, W. 0. 
Simpson, Jas 
Stephens, Geo W- 
Sache, Wm. 
Shanly, Walter 
Seymour, C. S. 
Smith, George 
Smith, Samuel G- 

Taylor, Edw. T. 
Taylor, Alfred 
Thompson, Jas 
Tylee, R. S. 
Thompson, Thos. M. 
Torrance, David 
Torrance, F. W. 
Thomas, Henry 
Townsend, W. A. 

Whitney, N. S. 
Walker, Joseph 
Wilson, A. 
Whyte, John 
Warner, George W- 
Williams, Sir W. F. 
Wood, Rev. Edmund 
Way, C J. 
Wheeler, John 
Watt, D. A. P. 

Young, John, Hon. 

jptrst QEouncti 

Elected Febbuary 17th, 1860 

HON. MR. JUSTICE DAY-Vice President. 
MR. W. H. A. DA VIES, Treasurer. 
MR. T. D. KING, Secretary.